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Northside reading program needs 200 volunteers for upcoming school year

Lori Alexander
Posted at 9:14 PM, Jun 24, 2024

Literacy Connects is a local organization that works to build reading skills for young children. They’re in major need of a couple hundred volunteers for their Reading Seed program.

The Reading Seed program needs 200 volunteers just like Lori Alexander, a children's book author and a three-year reading coach with the program.

Lori Alexander

Reading Seed is a program that pushes kids to not only view reading as an enjoyable experience, but also helps create a healthy relationship with books. The program works with about 800 students each school year.

“It’s just a joy to see them grow," Alexander said.

Literacy Connects

Each coach is paired with three students in kindergarten through second grade. During the school year, they spend thirty minutes with each student reading and going over literacy-related materials the students find interesting.

Literacy Connects

“You might start with students that can hardly even sit still enough to listen to a story," Alexander said. "But I think the great thing about this program is that you see so much growth.”

Data from The National Literacy Institute shows 54% of adults have a literacy below sixth-grade level, making programs like Reading Seed so important to our youth as they’re in the early stages of their education.

Literacy Connects

“At the end of each session, the kids get to choose a book to take home with them," said Alexander. "They’re gaining maybe 25 or 30 books over the course of the school year.”

Students are encouraged to read anything they find interesting because reading doesn’t always mean cover-to-cover. It can be as simple as reading a whiteboard or a traffic sign.

Word magnets

“So you might find a book on how to draw dinosaurs; let’s see, you really like drawing, let’s look at this book and see what we can learn from it," Alexander said. "Let’s get some information from books about the things you love.”

Training is required to join Reading Seed, click here if you’re interested in becoming a reading coach or call (520) 882-8006.

Jacqueline Aguilar is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born and raised in Yuma, AZ., she is no stranger to the unforgiving Arizona heat. Now this U of A wildcat is excited to be back in Tucson and is looking forward to involving herself in the community. Share your story ideas with Jacqueline by emailing or connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.