According to Readers 2 Leaders Reading Buddy volunteer Janie Cisneros,
“I volunteer at Readers 2 Leaders because my community is important to me. We all understand the value of reading, and books magically took me outside of West Dallas as a young girl. Every book took me into worlds that I could only imagine.
“My holiday wish is to expand the Readers 2 Leaders opportunity to more children in West Dallas who are in need of early literacy skills. With your support, we can achieve the necessary resources to scale the program while sustaining the 8 existing tutoring and partner locations.
“That mental travel accomplished through reading was powerful enough to help me escape the realities of growing up in a low income community. The additional perk was that reading helped me excel in my scholastic studies! It gives me much joy to take part in an organization that provides the children in my community access to this fundamental life navigating skill. Due to the program’s limit in capacity, it can currently only serve 478 students per year, while an estimated 93,000 k-3rd grade students in Dallas county are behind. My wish is to expand the number of children who can receive the help they need, and supporting Readers 2 Leaders can make that wish come true.
“I firmly believe every child in West Dallas should have an equal opportunity to learn to read. The Readers 2 Leaders literacy program develops and grows the reading skills of underserved West Dallas elementary school children to gain a solid foundation for their middle and high school learning endeavors.
“It is said that one learns to read up until 3rd grade and then one reads to learn moving forward. Taking part in an organization that empowers young minds and launches them on a trajectory for personal development and growth is something that is well worth my time and efforts. There is nothing more fulfilling than watching the eyes of the children I work with light up when they realize they are able to read words such as under, read, or get. Pretty simple huh? Yet not the case for many 3rd graders in West Dallas who are currently unable to read at grade level.
“Readers 2 Leaders takes a holistic approach and uses reading as a gateway to career exploration. It exposes children to a variety of career paths and hosts various activities, such as field trips, arts and crafts, and science experiments to enrich our students’ education.
“The West Dallas community will benefit from empowered students ready to take charge of their futures and successfully graduate from high school with the doors of a university in sight. We make time to create memorable moments as our students journey on their road to literacy!
“Consider being part of their journey. This holiday season, invest in the lives of the children in West Dallas and make a donation. Help my wish of expanding the Readers 2 Leaders literacy program come true! For a more interactive contribution, consider signing up to become my fellow Reading Buddy. Reach out to [email protected] with questions or visit us on Facebook.”
* Graphic and photo provided by Readers 2 Leaders