What began as a desire to engage senior adults in serving quickly expanded to involve others in the church. Barbara Prescott, organizer of Arise2Read volunteers from Christ Church Memphis, explains why she felt compelled to connect her church, Cornerstone Prep Lester and the Arise2Read program: "I really believe that if students aren't proficient by 3rd grade they are going to be behind," Barbara says. "I know that reading is key to being successful in school, graudating and being successful in the rest of a student's life."
Twice a week at CPL, a group of second grade students makes their way to the library to meet with tutors from the Arise2Read program. Currently, 28 tutors from Christ Church work with our students, with one tutor spending 30 minutes each with two students. Each student meets with a tutor twice per week.
"Arise2Read truly wants to do what’s best for teachers/schools, students, and churches/volunteers," explains Grant Caldwell, Director of Local Missions and Ministry Partnerships at Christ Church. "It’s rare to find a volunteer program that can value all three of those groups at the same time, but Arise2Read does it. I really can’t say enough positive things about the program."
Grant helped with the intial integration of the Arise2Read program into CPL and serves as a substitue tutor as needed.
"The teachers and administration of the school seem pleased with the results that have already been seen," Grant says. "The students really love their mentor/coaches that read with them, and our church volunteers have a consistent and meaningful way to serve students."
In addition to providing training supplies to volunteers, Arise2Read also provides books for students in their program. Our second graders receive their own book to take home at different points throughout the year including at the end of the school year, giving them another book to take home over the summer break.
Arise2Read is a city-wide initiative serving students in public schools throughout the Memphis area. Thank you to the Arise2Read volunteers and Christ Church for working with our students each week!