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October 16, 2014
Research shows that mentoring can play an important role in helping young people stay in school and on track to success in college, career and life. A caring adult can provide the needed support to help a young person find a pathway to a productive life.
Kristin Chesson has been a volunteer with the Reading Connection in the Maryland/DC area for the past 4 ½ years. Kristin is now continuing her storytelling in Larimer County with Fort Collins Read Aloud. I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Kristin and hear about her experiences as a volunteer reader.
"I believe that we all are mentors. As a mentor, I've been a role model to various children in my life whether they're related or that have entered in and out of my life though volunteering."
As a reader, tutor, and/or mentor, you lay down foundations and groundwork for development, maturity and growth in the students and children that you interact with. This connection remains even after a story has been read or the homework is done.
“My parents started me reading as a preschooler. I knew how to read by 4 years old and that opened the door to a new world. Little did I know, that at 4 years old I was going to not only love reading, but also want to share that love."
When you read to a child, you are showing them that not only reading is important, but also that the child is important. From the moment a child is born, language and literacy skills begin to develop. These early years lay a foundation for a child's future success in school and in life.
“The beauty of storytelling is that it actually plays with your emotions. If you wrap that character around you, or you are walking in the character's footsteps, you are feeling everything they do. I want to share this and bring children into the fold of entering storyland.”
Storytelling is anactivity that can transfer emotions and feelingsand also canboost thinking capacity. Another benefit of storytelling isthat it can promote academic success through an introduction ofnew vocabulary to children, encouragement for children to actively participate in the learning process, and enhancement of their listening skills.
At the conclusion of our meeting, Kristin shared her calling as a reader, tutor, and mentor:
“This is the never ending story. My past, present, and continual reading experience with the kids is hoping that they too will take that baton and run with it, and want to incorporate reading into their everyday experience. This incorporation does not need to be driven directly from an assignment or from school, but becomes a natural part of their life.”
Will you take the baton as a Reader, Tutor, or Mentor in Larimer County?
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County