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A Reading at Grade Level Literacy Initiative

Why Get Involved?

Right now, 7 in 10 Arkansas fourth graders don’t read proficiently. These children are much more likely to drop out of high school, end up on welfare, or end up in prison. However, by providing students with a once-a-week literacy tutor, we can help students learn to read at grade level.


How to Make A Difference

There are several ways you can help Central Arkansas students learn to read at grade level. By becoming a once-a-week volunteer tutor, becoming a partner, or becoming a sponsor, you can make a difference! Learn more about:


What to Expect

“One of my students finally came around at the end and seemed to enjoy our time together which was nice. In the beginning she seemed uninterested in reading. This last week we read a book and laughed and I felt a bond forming.”

AR Kids Read tutors can expect to find experiences just like this one when volunteering in Central Arkansas schools. In a recent survey, tutors reported that the experience was easy, enjoyable, and most of all rewarding.

Each volunteer is expected to make a 10-week commitment to tutor a child who is learning to read. This commitment allows the tutor and student to form a bond through the consistency of visits.

“Expect one of the best experiences of your life. Expect to leave each time feeling that you are the one that was better than when you started.”

AR Kids Read partners can expect to find that the program can be just as rewarding for partners and their tutors as it is for the students. The program is a chance for local organizations to actively help change a child’s life for the better, and potentially launch them into a lifetime of success, said one partner. Partners reported that students developed a relationship with their tutors, and that both tutors and students really enjoyed the time together. In addition, some partners reported that their tutors were able to see their students’ reading levels improve—sometimes dramatically.

Becoming an AR Kids Read partner is a free, satisfying way for businesses, churches, and other organizations to be involved in the community.

“It’s a way to become part of the solution, rather than just talking about the problem.”
Investing money or in-kind resources in a cause is a big decision for any organization; however, AR Kids Read sponsors can rest assured knowing that the resources they provide will be efficiently used to help solve a critical problem in our community.

Sponsors can expect their investments to have a lasting impact on the community. By helping children learn to read, sponsors are setting children on a path towards college graduation and future success in life—instead of a path towards dropping out of high school, ending up on welfare, or ending up in the prison system.

AR Kids Read students will work with carefully screened and trained volunteers who are passionate about helping kids learn to read. The same volunteer will work with the student for the entire semester, ensuring a consistent tutor/student relationship. This consistency leads to a real bond between many tutors and students. One previous tutor even developed a bond outside the classroom with a student after the mother invited her over.

Families should also expect that their child’s participation in the AR Kids Read program will compliment their regular instruction in the classroom. This is because students will be using their regular reading curriculum during the tutoring sessions.