SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Many children in San Diego don’t read until grade level. However, a local nonprofit, Words Alive, is doing their best to change that and make sure every child sees themselves as a reader.
âIn the San Diego Unified School District, for example, 48% of kids on last year’s smart balance test are not reading at grade level,â says Amanda Bonds, director of the Words Alive program.
Bonds said reading is a skill set that can be improved throughout our lifetimes.
âIt is our responsibility as a community to help children reach this point together to ensure that young people have positive and rich experiences while reading, writing and talking about what they read,â Bonds said. .
With the help of nearly 1,600 volunteers; Words Alive helps children by using quality books, reading workshops and reading aloud programs.
âI love the engagement with the kids,â said volunteer Jim McIlhon. “I love to see their faces light up at the start of our sessions and how attentive and responsive they are to the stories.”
McIlhon said he liked that Words Alive was following the school curriculum.
âBeing in COVID, for some of these kids is their first time in a collective school environment. So the first few weeks the books are about change, making friends or adjusting to new environments. As the school year progresses, we touch on other things like working together. “
Bonds points out that teaching children to read takes an entire community with the end result of creating literate and successful young people.
“When you are a reader and it becomes a valuable part of who you are, it is often something that you are happy to share with someone else and which can help us resolve this literary crisis,” said said Bonds.