“The horizon leans forward offering you space to place new steps of change.”
~ Maya Angelou
By the time you read this we will have entered not only a new year but a new decade. Wow! 2020. Over at least the past five years, the community has been setting educational goals to reach by 2020. Unfortunately, the goal to move the needle on children’s literacy levels has not significantly moved. Greater minds than mine have analyzed and reanalyzed, aggregated and disaggregated the data. There are major predictors associated with the issues, things we know influence why children do or do not learn to read. We know poverty is a major player. All of the circumstances surrounding being poor can affect learning to read. Is that to say all children who live in poverty don’t learn to read? No. But, when hard working parents are not able to spend time reading with their children, or when hard earned wages are spent on essentials, not books, children do not learn to read or enjoy reading like their more economically secure peers. That’s where San Antonio Youth Literacy’s Reading Buddy program steps in to the equation. We never presume to be a replacement for either parents or teachers, but we do provide a data driven curriculum, used by our Reading Buddies to improve the reading skills of our students and in doing so, build their self-confidence. All of you who have been Reading Buddies have witnessed this metamorphosis. In addition, those of us who are Reading Buddies experience weekly the joy our students express when we show up for our time together. We are THEIR Reading Buddy! Hard to quantify, but easy to see.
In this new year, the beginning of the next decade, come be a part of the solution. You’ve read this phrase from me before, but it is true. Our data demonstrates that our children do better than their peers. We know we are making a difference. Is it a big commitment? Yes, it is, but what an incredible reward at the end of the year! “place new steps of change.”