Building Better Readers

Recruits, trains and supports volunteers to tutor children who are reading below grade level

Community Impact

  • 343 first and second grade students in 25 schools were tutored by 136 volunteer tutors
  • 70 percent of these students were at least 50 percent closer to grade level reading at the end of the school year
  • 19 volunteers tutored 29 children afterschool at the Blume Literacy Center


First grader Malia joined the Building Better Readers tutoring program in October after her parents learned that she was not doing well in reading at school. Reading at a level D, Malia didn’t enjoy reading and suffered from anxiety when asked to read aloud.

On her first day of tutoring at the Literacy Coalition, Malia entered crying and begging to go home. However, as she began working with her encouraging, patient tutor, Sheelin, Malia’s distress lessened, and she started making excellent progress in her reading and her comprehension.

By the end of the school year, Malia was reading texts at a level M, significantly above a proficient first grade reading level. Her tutor loved seeing Malia’s enjoyment of reading grow. She saw significant improvement in Malia’s decoding skills, fluency and comprehension and was thrilled as Malia began to uncover deeper, hidden meanings in texts.

Seeing Malia blossom and gain confidence was just as exciting for Sheelin as it was for her parents. Malia’s father couldn’t believe it when Malia began leaving her tutoring sessions wanting to read aloud to him on the way home. He is so grateful to the Literacy Coalition and the Building Better Readers program for turning his daughter into a lifelong reader.