As the Annie E. Casey Foundation has noted, “The process of dropping out begins long before a child gets to high school.” In fact, the chances of a child graduating from high school can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing the child’s reading skill at the end of Third Grade. A child who is not at least a moderately skilled reader at that point is unlikely to graduate.
If a child comes from a low-income family, the chances for on-time graduation further decline. The Foundation concluded, “The fact is that the low-income fourth graders who cannot meet [the] proficient level in reading today are all too likely to become our nation’s lowest-income, least-skilled, least-productive, and most costly citizens tomorrow. Simply put, without a dramatic reversal of the status quo, we are cementing educational failure and poverty into the next generation.”
WePAC places volunteers in Kindergarten, First, and Second grade classrooms to support classroom teachers during the literacy block of instruction. With class sizes increasing, volunteers can play a key role in working with individual students, or small groups of students, during this key learning time.
As we continue to expand our classroom literacy initiative, we are looking for many more volunteers to serve students during this critical time in their educational lives. Volunteers generally serve for 1.5 to 2 hours per week in the same classroom throughout the school year.
If you are interested in volunteering in a classroom in West Philadelphia, please visit our Get involved page!