During the school year 2013-14, ONE TO ONE’s 280 volunteer tutors spent time in 59 program schools working with over 840 students who struggle with reading. Sarah was one of these students. She began Grade 3 at a new school last year, bringing with her serious socio-emotional issues. She was intimidated in the classroom and shyly whispered to her teacher that she wasn’t a good reader. Sarah’s teacher then selected her for the ONE TO ONE program.
From November to May, Sarah read with a ONE TO ONE volunteer tutor twice a week. By April, she had successfully worked through all of the levels of books in the ONE TO ONE box (that’s over 125), and was now reading books from the library – all of the books! By May, she was reading short novels at a grade-appropriate level, and began reading with expression. Her teacher said that Sarah does not like to miss one day with her ONE TO ONE reading tutor – she will choose to read with the ONE TO ONE reader rather than do anything else.
Through the ONE TO ONE program, Sarah changed from an “I can’t” attitude to confidently describing herself as “I am a good reader”. Her teacher said that without this program, Sarah would have been a very disruptive student, on track to be at-risk. The ONE TO ONE program provided her the confidence to become a successful student, which will translate to all aspects of her schooling.
Over their 25 year history, with very modest resources, ONE TO ONE has made a huge impact on the lives of more than 12,000 elementary school students who have difficulty with reading and are reading below their grade level. There are 11,999 more stories like Sarah’s. This school year, as they celebrate their silver anniversary, ONE TO ONE is launching further expansion with another four schools on the waiting list for January. Demand for the program continues to grow and the support of SVP Vancouver has been critical in providing ONE TO ONE Literacy with core funding to run the program, as well as providing non-financial resources. SVP has been a game-changer for ONE TO ONE Literacy and will allow the program to expand to far greater heights in the years ahead and benefit many more students than otherwise possible.