“Give Where We Live” – Keller Williams
The employees at Keller Williams know that it’s part of their jobs to be visible in the community. Every year, they have a “Red Day” where they go out as a group to serve in the community at places like Our House, Youth Home or the Arkansas Food Bank.
One way that they “Give Where We Live” (which was their motto for a Red Day) is through volunteering as tutors with AR Kids Read.
“Our business is community,” said Tracy Rice, executive broker at Keller Williams. “The community has been good to us, so we like to give back.”
With that in mind, Rice readily agreed to help recruit tutors when an AR Kids Read staff member approached her.
“I believe 100 percent in educating children,” she said. “That’s their future; that’s our future.”
Although she was excited about recruiting other Keller Williams employees to tutor, Rice did not think she would do it herself at first, because she wasn’t confident that she had the right skillset to tutor. A friend convinced her that she could do it, though, and she got hooked on tutoring. She tutored for a few years at Western Hills and is tutoring at Carver this year.
“Anybody that can read can do this,” she said. “We are talking simple things. I work with first graders, so I work with kids on sight words. Sometimes I read to them. They absolutely love it! It makes them feel special; it makes them want to try harder.”
Rice has continued recruiting new tutors at the company as well, and some of those tutors recruited new tutors. That’s how Quincy Holloway, a realtor at the company, got started tutoring.
Initially, Holloway thought of it as good marketing – he thought he would be able to network while he was the school. His focus shifted to being all about the students once he got into the schools and started interacting with them.
“My thought process is transitioning from being selfish to being selfless,” he said. “I view this as a way of being in service to do just that – paying it forward to the next generation. These are the future leaders of our community.”
Holloway said he loves seeing the progress that his students make over the course of the year. At the beginning, they may struggle with a lot of new words and read slowly, but by the time the tutoring ends, they recognize more sight words and read more fluently.
“When you get there, it is like ‘This is why you do it,’” he said. “You see the improvement. You see the appreciation.”