At 93 years old, Lillian Schklar has volunteered as a reading tutor for 11 years at Liberty Elementary School. She tutors four children in one-on-one sessions for 30 minutes each week throughout the school year.
Schklar is one of fifty adults age 55+ that serve in Williamson County and Franklin Special School District schools as part of FiftyForward’s Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP), a United Way-funded education program.
In her role as FLIP tutor, Schklar not only provides literacy support to children who need a little extra attention, but also shares her knowledge and love of Franklin history with students.
“I have had the privilege of observing her guiding our beginner readers and bringing the stories to life for them,” said Pamela Fahey, Reading Coach at Liberty Elementary. “I overheard a 4th-grader reading to her about the Appalachian Trail, and when the student was finished, Ms. Schklar went on to tell her about a relative's adventures who had actually hiked the trail.”
Volunteer tutors work to ensure students are performing at grade level, and teachers identify the students who need this extra support. “One of my students started out unable to identify the letters of the alphabet. Now she can identify and produce the letter sounds. She is also able to read consonant-vowel-consonant words,” said Jennifer, a teacher at Grassland Elementary.
Schools reported significant gains academically among the students who were in the program - 83% of students met their academic targets in the 2016/17 school year. Miriam from Franklin Elementary said, “For some of our students, this is the only extra reading help they get, outside of school.”
Volunteer tutors are needed each school year. Think about how you could be the one to set a child on the path to succeed in school and in life.