'Read Today' program helps thousands of students

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SALT LAKE CITY — A year-long, grassroots effort has made an impressive difference in the lives of Utah children- more than 2-thousand of them. Last fall, our Read Today program paired struggling readers with volunteer tutors. Test results were nothing short of life changing.

St. George native, Anthony Frausto now tutors younger students in reading, which is remarkable considering at the start of the year, he was two grades behind, has a father in prison and could have easily slipped through the cracks.

After a year of one-on-one tutoring, Frausto's Read Today report card showed he was caught up with his grade level. He's one of many.

Of the 2601 students who started the year in Read Today tutoring, 2043 finished at grade level.

"When I think about this program, it makes me want to cry," said Roosevelt parent, Keith Duncan.

Over 100 struggling students at Eagle Bay Elementary are now at grade level. "Reading is one of my talents and it's the funnest thing I've ever done," said Dominick Sandberg, a student that received tutoring through the Read Today program.

William Penn held a family literacy night, and 56 students made the grade. Tutors helped 17 students at Heritage and 46 students at Sandstone to raise their reading level and make the grade.

In all, of the 2601 students who started the year in Read Today tutoring, 2043 finished at grade level. Or, where 0- percent started at grade level, 79-percent finished there.

"There's no way the state could provide a one on one initiative," said Washington School District, Kathy Peterson.

The volunteers are what made the difference. They committed to help kids for the whole school year, and the tutoring time donated almost equals one million dollars.

If you'd like to join the movement to help kids in your neighborhood, go to readtoday.com

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Nadine Wimmer


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