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GARLAND -- In just a few weeks, students at Garland Elementary have quickly become attached to their reading tutors.
"I can't believe how excited the kids are," said AmeriCorps Coordinator Terrie Beus. "They say, ‘Is today reading day? Is today reading day?'"
That scenario plays out among the 60 kids taking part in the KSL's Read Today Project Tutor.
Thirty neighborhood volunteers come to the school twice a week. They're trained in the state's Star Tutoring program and they help students become better readers.
Retired college professor Richard Weaver looks forward to meeting with his student Nathan. He's seen an improvement, but more importantly, they've gotten to know each other well enough that Weaver knew his student would enjoy a book on astronauts.
"If you know what their interests are then you can help select books that will stimulate their interest in reading," he said.
Beus agrees that students benefit as much just by knowing someone cares about them. "I can't believe the relationships they have built with the students and the tutors."
For students like Nathan, the excitement of meeting with his tutor each week has encouraged him to read more. "You get to choose the book you get to read and you get to read with somebody," he said.
Read Today's Project Tutor operates in 72 Utah schools from St. George to Logan. To find out more about the reading program go to readtoday.com.