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The Read Team in Jackson needs more mentors to help young kids improve their reading skills

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - In Jackson, a local group is looking for volunteer read coaches for the upcoming school year.

The Read Team in Jackson is in need of your help! This organization is looking for new mentors to help young kids with their reading skills.

The program functions under the United Way of West Tennessee and its motto is changing the community one word at a time.

The program director and coordinator say The Read Team is in need of mentors for this year.

Mentors with The Read Team go into six local elementary schools during the school year to help second graders improve their reading skills.

“This year with the pandemic, we are in a restart mode and had a lot of turnovers and changes in our infrastructure. So, we are definitely hoping to get back in all those schools, but it does depend a lot on our volunteer base,” said

Kelly Christoferson, the Program Coordinator with The Read Team.

Increasing the number of volunteers with this organization is so critical because reading is an essential skill.

“Well, if a child can read proficiently by the end of the third grade they have a 90 percent chance of graduating from high school," said James Christoferson, the Program Director of The Read Team.

“If they are not on grade level by the end of fourth grade, they have a two-thirds chance, they will either end up in prison or on well-fare. So, the statistics speak hugely. Literacy is the basis for everything," said Kelly.

A mentor with the group says it’s a rewarding experience and encourages everyone to get involved.

“I think it is a great opportunity for a lot of volunteers to come in volunteer an hour of their time. It’s a journey with the kids. You get to help them along the way. You get a sense of pride through mentoring these kids. So, I’ve had a great relationship with my students through Team Read,” said Brian James, a volunteer coach with The Read Team.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, please visit the Read Team website.

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