Three questions with executive director Karen Gardner
What are your hopes for your volunteers?
We hope that it doesn’t end with the one-on-one tutoring session. The literacy challenge in America is huge. We hope that we are building champions for this issue. Volunteers unlock incredible opportunity for our students.
What new programs, if any, are you either piloting or planning?
We are focusing on continued growth and expansion with the DC public schools. Recently, we were selected as a priority partner of the Empowering Males of Color initiative. We hope that partnership will open up additional volunteer pools.
What kinds of volunteers are you looking for?
We have volunteers from all walks of life. Some volunteers are teenagers. Others are retired businessmen or working professionals. We are especially looking for people with flexible schedules. Every volunteer is a piece of the puzzle.
Three questions with volunteer Alexis Holdman
What is the book, if any, that made you fall in love with reading?
There are a couple of books that I remember. One is a "Wrinkle in Time, (another is) "Jubilee." I remember loving the story. (Also,) "The Diary of Anne Frank." Given the opportunity, I would always go back to them. The feeling stays with you.
What’s your hope for the students you tutor?
That they will continue to read, that they will find it enjoyable, and something that becomes a part of them. That they will see it as more than schoolwork and something that they have to do—that they will find enjoyment with it. And that they’ll share that with friends and family.
What would you say to anyone considering volunteering with RP?
It’s a great way to share you time, to give back to the community, to give back to kids. It’s something very instructive. Reading is such an important skill. It’s just so basic. If you can share it with a child, it can make a change. I’m glad that I found RP. It’s rewarding because it is something that’s so important. I highly recommend it.