United Way’s Midlands Reading Consortium looking for volunteer tutors to enhance students’ literacy skills
Columbia, S.C. (July 28, 2021) – United Way of the Midlands is looking for volunteers interested in tutoring and reading to elementary age students to support the Midlands Reading Consortium (MRC) for the 2021-2022 school year.
MRC is a literacy focused program that supplements and enhances shared reading experiences to ignite a love of reading for elementary students. MRC is a partnership between United Way of the Midlands and 27 Midlands elementary schools across Richland, Lexington, Newberry, Fairfield and Orangeburg counties.
“For over 20 years, United Way of the Midlands has invested in programs to support education to help children live to their full potential. Sharing your time and talent as an MRC volunteer will inspire students and build their confidence to excel academically,” said Kimberly Isaac-House, MRC’s Program Director.
MRC volunteers tutor students on a one-on-one basis once a week during the school year to help ensure students are reading proficiently by third grade, which is key to later student success. Volunteering begins early September 2021 and ends May 2022. While a tutoring session lasts for 30 minutes, many volunteers choose to work with two students back-to-back for one hour during the week to increase their impact.
“Just 30 minutes of your time on a weekly basis has the capacity to change the landscape of lives, by helping a child cultivate a love for reading and building their confidence in meeting target classroom goals,” said House.
According to 2020-2021 MRC survey results, 95.8 percent of teachers agreed that MRC increased students’ interest in reading, and 96.7 percent of survey respondents agreed that it would be beneficial for students to continue participating in the program.
During the 2020-2021 school year, MRC provided virtual tutoring options for both one-on-one and weekly classroom readings to reach students during the pandemic. Virtual tutoring will continue this upcoming school year, while returning to in-person volunteering is up to the discretion of school districts.
MRC provides tutors with free training, materials and the support needed to help focus on improving language skills and reading proficiency for tutees. Training is provided prior to tutoring sessions, and technology training on the virtual platform used will also be provided by MRC staff.
To learn more about the volunteer tutor application process and to find tutoring opportunities throughout Midlands elementary schools, please visit volunteer.uway.org/mrc.
About United Way of the Midlands
United Way of the Midlands is the most collaborative, efficient and accountable model for investing in the improvement of the Midlands community. With more than 65 Community Impact Partners, United Way works to identify and respond to the critical human service needs of Calhoun, Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg and Richland counties. Funds are raised through workplace campaigns, grant writing and individual donations and are directed to fight for causes including childhood literacy, economic mobility and dental and eye care for those without resources. For more information, please visit uway.org.
About Midlands Reading Consortium
Midlands Reading Consortium is a partnership between United Way of the Midlands, local colleges, community partners, faith-based entities and local school districts in Fairfield, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Richland counties. Tutors focus on improving language skills and reading proficiency to close the achievement gap. Since MRC was founded in 2007, tutors have helped more than 7,000 students. The program has been placed into over 25 schools and after school programs across the Midlands and continues to grow. For more information, please visit uway.org/mrc.