Sophie Halter ’16, Molly Naef ’16 and Fatima Saravia ’16 were named tutors of the month by the America Reads program. The three received the recognition for their work in October. They were selected from approximately 175 students who participate in the program at HWS, dedicating more than 6,300 hours each year.
The America Reads program provides college students around the nation with an opportunity to give back to the community by assisting elementary students in the community. At HWS, America Reads volunteers assist elementary students who are struggling with literacy in Geneva, Waterloo and Romulus. The Tutor of the Month program was established to recognize those students who have gone above and beyond throughout the semester.
“Giving back to the community is incredibly important,” says Naef. “One of my favorite things about HWS is the emphasis on service to the community and the partnership with Geneva. It makes our relationship much more fulfilling when we are engaged members of the community.”
The America Reads program at HWS started in 1996, evolving from an earlier all-volunteer Student Literacy Corps, and is one of the largest employers of students on campus. Tutors meet with students two or three times a week at the participating schools.
Many tutors believe that the program’s benefits extend beyond the literacy aspect and serve as a monumental part of the children’s overall development.
“I think that this program does more than help a child improve his or her reading skills, it also builds self-esteem and allows a love for reading to grow,” says Saravia. “Watching a child read through a book on her own and enjoying what they are reading is such a good feeling.”
America Reads tutors are selected based on an application process at the beginning of the semester. The program is looking for tutors for the spring semester.
The application can be found online on the HWS website at http://www.hws.edu/academics/service/volunteer_opportunities.aspx or by contacting the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at 315-781-3825.
The photo above features Sophie Halter ’16 tutoring a student at Lafayette Elementary School in Waterloo, N.Y.