STAR tutors teach love of reading to kids

Do you remember the first book that really captured your imagination as a child? Maybe you envisioned yourself as an orphan living in the woods with The Boxcar Children. Or maybe your formative years were a little more recent and you dreamt of sailing through the air on your Nimbus 2000 as you led your team to Quidditch glory alongside Harry Potter. Regardless, most of us can remember some tale that made us want to read just a few more pages when mom or dad was urging lights out.

But what if reading was more of a frustration than a joy? For some students at our neighborhood school, Peabody Elementary, the words don’t come easily, which means that neither does the excitement of discovering a thrilling story, or the answer on a test. But you can help. Whether you have a little or a lot of time to give, you can be part of helping make Peabody Elementary a school of readers.

The STAR Tutoring program, which is now in its third year, pairs volunteer tutors with the same two students (typically second- or third-graders) who will eagerly anticipate each of your visits. Each 30-minute, one-on-one tutoring session will include 5-10 minutes of working on sight words, and then about 20 minutes just reading books with the students or playing a reading-based game. STAR tutors are asked to commit at least an hour every other week during the school year (through April).

But if that level of commitment is more than you can take on right now, you can still sign up as an “AR Coach” to read with students and help them take Accelerated Reader quizzes in their classrooms. As an AR Coach, you won’t be assigned specific students, which means you can sign up just once or as often as you like, as your schedule allows.

For more information on being a reading volunteer at Peabody, including how to be approved as a STAR tutor or an AR Coach, please visit

By Ginger Spickler

Author: LampLighter

The voice of Cooper-Young, a vibrant, diverse neighborhood to live, work and play, in the heart of Midtown Memphis, Tennessee.

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