Philly program asks for help in the fight against childhood illiteracy

Justin Udo
September 07, 2019 - 4:00 am
Boy doing homework

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A reading program in Philadelphia is expanding and looking for help, as it works to cut down on the city's illiteracy problem.

Philly Reading Coaches says it has one goal, to make sure all the city's kids are reading at grade level by the fourth grade.

They say they are doing that, by pairing kids with reading coaches.

“It's really an opportunity to approach this issue head on,” Johniece Foster with Philly Reading Coaches said.

She says to be a coach, you just need to give an hour of your time each week, to listen to and help the kids read.

“Our volunteers do not have to have a wealth of knowledge, or to have previously worked with children,” she said.

Carissa Forde is a Reading Coaches site leader. She says she's seen kids make leaps and bounds during their time in the program.

“There's stories where kids they know more words than they did when they first started the program. They can read a book by themselves. They read to the volunteer, instead of having the volunteer instead of having the volunteer read to them. Within my site alone there's a lot of success stories,” Forde explained.

The program is also in need of bilingual coaches who can work with kids who speak Spanish.

If you are, or happen to know anyone, interested in helping out you can visit the Philly Reading Coaches website by clicking here.