When Abby began volunteering as a United Way ReadUP tutor, she was partnered with Aries. “My first day I was very, very nervous and unsure of what to expect,” Abby admitted. But Aries’ lively and funny personality quickly put Abby at ease and she couldn’t wait to get to started.
One of the first things Abby noticed was Aries’ fear of chapter books. She didn’t know if she could read them so she would often avoid them completely. Abby wanted to help Aries conquer her fear, and she convinced her to just start reading a little bit out of “Clementine” by Sara Pennypacker.
As Aries continued, her confidence improved and it was a familiar look to Abby. “It reminded me of my own childhood and finding an author I really liked,” Abby said.
When Aries finished the book, Abby couldn’t have been more proud. “It was great being able to come in each week and see how much she had grown,” Abby said. “I am so thankful to have been able to witness all that she accomplished and conquered.”
Because of Abby’s dedication and strong ReadUP programming, Aries’ test scores have improved drastically, she is on track with grade-level literacy and has a newfound love for reading! The program has proven benefits for students - academically and personally. But, for volunteers like Abby, the impact can be equally as meaningful.