Making happy and better readers at Bethune Elementary School

Since 1998 Assistance League volunteers have been reading with elementary-aged children at various elementary schools in Minneapolis. The main goal of this program, called Literacy Plus, is to connect with second graders who are typically 1-2 years behind in reading skills. They thrive on the individual attention the volunteers give them as they read aloud and they learn many reading skills at the same time.

This year we have 14 volunteer reading buddies who meet at Bethune Elementary every Wednesday to read with the second graders. Each second grade class receives a book per month from our Assistance League chapter and books are given, also, to the High Five and Kindergarten classes. 

In addition to reading, the Literacy Plus volunteers arrange for special events such as a penguin visit from the Como Zoo, a visiting author, a presentation by the MN Raptor Center, and a field trip to the Children’s Theatre. We provided the preschoolers with colorful cushions to enhance their reading experience and we plan on purchasing headphones for many of the classrooms to help with reading comprehension. 

The Literacy Plus program truly makes a difference in the lives of these students.