Our History, Mission and What We Do
WHO WE ARE
The READ Association of Saginaw County is a local initiative established in 1965 in response to a high correlation between juvenile delinquency, poverty and illiteracy. One out of every three children find reading one of the most difficult tasks that they ever have to master.
READ’s mission is to help students improve their reading skills and discover the joy of reading. Primary goals are to motivate children to want to read and to enhance their confidence and self-esteem so that they can read at their respective grade level. READ strives to instill in all children a love of reading and the value of becoming a lifelong reader. A child’s ability to read is important to their development to live as happy, successful and productive members of society.
READ is governed by a 21 member Board of Directors and is funded by the United Way of Saginaw County, local foundations, individual contributions and business partners.
WHAT WE DO
The majority of the children READ serves are given the opportunity to share individualized weekly reading time with a volunteer mentor. While reading is the primary focus, mentors also serve as positive role models, teaching children values, ethics and good character traits such as courage, honesty, friendship, kindness, truthfulness, integrity and compassion. Mentors mutually enjoy the experience and know that they have made a difference in the life of a child. READ sponsors special events throughout the year including book drives that provide at risk children with new books to keep and take home, and the successful DEAR at the Zoo (Drop Everything and READ), a literacy event to promote summer and family reading.
READ also sponsors an annual Book Fair and “Books for Breakfast”, a pancake breakfast held in March during national reading month to promote family reading time.
95% of teachers, principals, volunteers and center coordinators surveyed indicated that students have shown improvement in reading progress and improved their self-esteem and desire to want to read.
Student achievements include:
- Increased academic reading performance
- Increased personal self confidence and self-esteem
- Increased time spent reading outside of classroom setting
- Increased number of reading books available in home
- Developed meaningful relationship with mentor
- Increased knowledge of value and importance of reading for a lifetime