HISD Recruits Volunteers To Help Students Read

It’s part of Literacy in 3, the Houston Independent School District’s plan to get every student reading on grade level by the end of third grade.

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Key to the Read Houston Read program is getting volunteers to spend an hour a week reading one-on-one with a student. Parents and community members gathered in the Memorial Elementary School library to learn how they could get involved.

Julie Baker-Finck is with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation which helped organize the recruitment drive. She says volunteers were signing up at every computer, and she spoke with several business leaders who said they would encourage their employees to get involved.

“We’re feeling like we’re going to build some momentum,” she said. “We already have 184 members of the community who have already spent time in the schools reading to first graders here in Houston.”

Mechiel Rozas is the principal of Memorial Elementary. She says one in three HISD students does not read on grade level.

“I hope that when we leave this year that we can say that 100 percent of our students are reading on or above grade level,” Rozas said.

Rozas says HISD will test students’ reading levels this school year to track their progress.