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Student Volunteers Help with Reading Tutoring Program


JONESBORO – Thirteen young children will begin the new school year motivated with refreshed reading and literacy skills they improved during the Summer Reading Tutoring Program at Arkansas State University.

“Several parents stated in a follow-up survey that their children’s attitudes toward reading changed, in that the children became more enthusiastic about reading independently after they participated in the program,” according to Dr. Kwangok Song, assistant professor of teacher education and leadership, and director of the summer program.

The School of Teacher Education and Leadership was the sponsor, and Song directed the program with assistance from 10 talented volunteers.  Nine are A-State students, and one is an after-school program coordinator for Jonesboro Hispanic Community Services.  The volunteers had advance training in teaching reading skills.

“Two of the volunteers helped me prepare and organize educational materials before the program started,” Song explained.  “We created vocabulary, spelling, and rhyming games for children. The rest of them served as tutors.”

Parents also expressed appreciation for the word work activities and one-on-one attention to children, she added, and some children enjoyed reading with their tutors and building their confidence in reading.

Song had said previously that many children’s reading skills and knowledge decline during the summer for various reasons, especially lack of consistent support.  The program was instituted to help offset and reverse the loss.

For five weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the participants worked with tutors in the Community Literacy Lab, a new addition in the Education and Communication Building.

“I was so fortunate to work with such passionate and committed volunteers who enjoyed reading and writing with children,” Song continued, citing the importance of students’ volunteer involvement.  “They were persistent, diligent, and reliable.”

The summer program included group read-aloud and discussion, along with individualized tutoring and making a book using iPad technology.

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