AURORA, Colo. – Working in small groups or even one-on-one often makes reading lessons a little easier to understand. Thanks to volunteers, getting those focused lessons are a little easier at Aurora’s Sixth Avenue Elementary.
“At this young age, to get reading skills established, it just sets them up for success for the rest of their school career,” said volunteer Sharon Davis.
Davis is the liaison between Sixth Avenue Elementary and the Heather Gardens Optimist Club. Many members of the Optimist Club volunteer to be part of the grandparents program at the school. They work with the kids on their reading, help with the holiday shop and organize other school events. But mostly, they connect with the kids.
“The kids are so excited when the grandparents come in,” said Davis. “You know, some of them live away from their grandparents, so they don't have that connection.”
Principal Roberta Ballard said the older volunteers are able to connect with students in a different way than teachers. In many cases, the connection ends up being more like family.
“It's nice to just have someone who can serve in that role, and just take care of them and, you know, connect with them and be able to sit and read with them and just have that undivided attention, which they do,” said Ballard.
- For information on volunteering in Aurora Public Schools, click here
Principal Ballard said Davis is a key part of the success of the grandparents program, not just volunteering to work with the kids, but pulling from her own background as a teacher to make certain the school has what it needs for success.
Davis wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love teaching reading. And I love doing what I do,” she said.
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