GOSHEN – Goshen Community Schools are appealing for volunteers to participate in this year’s Real Men Read initiative.
According to Sharon Sarber, Volunteer Engagement Specialist for GCS, Real Men Read started in 2011 and encourages men in the community to volunteer their time to read to a local class of students for several weeks from the start. fall.
“Real Men Read allows men in the area to visit a pre-established classroom four times in the fall of each school year,” Sarber said of the program. “Our hope is to make an impact on students in grades 1 to 4 by making them discover the importance of reading in all areas of life, while revealing the possible careers available to them at the future.
“Goshen Community Schools attach great importance to community volunteers who come to read to our students,” she added. “It is so important for children to see, hear and know the people who work and live next to them. This program is of great benefit to students and volunteers.
Last year, volunteers had to read using a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Sarber noted that schools are allowing readers to return to classrooms this year.
For this year’s program, Sarber said she needed volunteer readers for all of Goshen’s classes, from grades one to four.
“The program begins the week of October 25 and ends on November 19,” Sarber said. “Catch-up sessions for missed dates can be scheduled until December 10 if necessary. Volunteers spend approximately 30 minutes per week in class over a four week period.
Given the continued presence of COVID-19 in the region, Sarber noted that all volunteers will be required to wear a face shield – provided by GCS – or a face mask with social distancing from students. A face shield allows students to see the volunteer’s facial expressions during the story, she explained of the requirement.
“They share about themselves, their career or career aspirations and their life experiences,” Sarber said of the volunteers. “Then the volunteers read a supplied book, followed by a brief discussion with the students. The teachers remain in the room throughout the visit.
According to Sarber, the books used during the program are donated by Crossroads United Way to class libraries. Volunteers are encouraged to dress up, use props and voices for their weekly readings.
“Crossroads United Way is passionate about helping students succeed,” said Bill Rieth, CEO of Crossroads United Way and longtime Real Men Read volunteer, of his organization’s partnership with GCS. “Literacy is a component of student success. Real Men Read volunteers, with their engaging reading style, help students develop their love of books and reading.
For volunteers who have already signed up for the program, a training lunch is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 13, from noon to 1 p.m. at Grace Community Church, Sarber said.
“All the documents will be distributed at that time,” she said. “If prevented, books can be delivered to an address provided or picked up from the Goshen Community Schools Administration Building.”
As for those who might be interested in participating in this year’s program, Sarber said those considering volunteering should contact her either by email at [email protected] or by phone at (574) 533-8631. , ext. 12048, and leave a message before October 10.