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Volunteer Spotlight – December 2018

Congratulations to our Reading Buddy of the Month – Vivian Holder! This is Vivian’s first year as a Reading Buddy, and she is currently tutoring at Madison Elementary in SAISD. Vivian has a history with Madison. The CFO of her company, Shannon Braymen had started a drawing for a free bicycle for students with perfect attendance. She and Shannon have now been able to expand the bicycle program for every student who has perfect attendance at Madison will receive a free bicycle.

Vivian has been a very enthusiastic Reading Buddy since she started in early October. She has made sure to spend time getting to know her students in order to find books that will interest them and make them want to read. She has even brought some of her own books to read with her students on special occasions. Vivian has been working hard to encourage her students to push themselves while also having fun!

Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, the Reading Buddy Program really resonated with Vivian. Her parents, who did not have a formal education themselves, always put a strong emphasis on education and reading. They put a strong focus on her and her brothers going to college and her mom always made sure she and her brothers had things to read, from Golden Books, to Reader’s Digest, to reading the back of cereal boxes. “Because I was a such a good reader everything was easier,” states Vivian. “You take it for granted. I own my own business, and I realize that some of my folks can’t read a work order very well. You realize their reading skills are not only poor, but have stymied them in their ability to earn a living for themselves and their families. And that’s a problem for me. I am here because I want to understand my guys and how they got to where they are. I am here because I love the program, but also how to take what I’ve learned here and take it to use with my adult employees. How do I help them with their skills and life skills?”

We are very lucky to have Reading Buddies like Vivian who take the time out of their busy schedules to promote literacy and the love of reading! Her passion and dedication are much appreciated by SAYL. Thank you so much for all you do, Vivian!

Mary Flannigan