This guest post was submitted by Generations Incorporated.
Charlotte Rose, a member of the Roxbury community, is an AARP Experience Corps volunteer member serving with Generations Incorporated. Nearly nine years ago and newly retired, she became involved as a reading volunteer at the Tobin Elementary School in Roxbury. She learned that many young students were unable to read at grade level. She felt a strong sense to help. These were children from her community and she now had time to help. She received great training from Generations Incorporated and began her work with young struggling readers.
One of the first students that Ms. Rose met was Brianna, a first grader. Brianna really struggled with early reading skills. She was also physically larger than her classmates. Because of this, she suffered from low self-esteem. Ms. Rose began working with Brianna, reading with her twice a week. After just a few reading sessions, things began to change. Brianna looked forward to her time with Ms. Rose and her confidence grew more and more as each week went by. Her reading skills also improved, dramatically. Ms. Rose worked with her throughout the school year, reading books together, using flashcards and other early literacy techniques, and providing lots of encouragement. Over the months, they had developed a strong and meaningful mentoring relationship. By the end of May, Brianna had made remarkable progress as a reader and felt more comfortable with herself and her abilities. And it gave Ms. Rose great satisfaction and meaning to her life.
When asked why she serves, Ms. Rose said, “First, I like kids! And by serving I am investing in the children’s’ futures. I want to help my community.” She feels it is incredibly important work because as a community member, “You want young children to have a strong early foundation. Having caring community adults in their lives can help to build that foundation.”
Ms. Rose now manages a team of AARP Experience Corps volunteer members at the new Dudley Street Neighborhood Charter School in Roxbury. Team members assist in kindergarten and first grade classrooms to help conduct literacy activities. She says the program is off to a great start: “We feel very welcomed by the teachers and principal. They couldn’t wait for us to start!”
If you would like to become part of this literacy work and can commit a few hours a week to help young children, please contact Katie Klister at 617-399-4700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.