Volunteer Spotlight: Nancy Snell

By: Cassie Hubbert, Uplift Fundraising & Signature Events Manager

Nancy Snell found Uplift by happenstance, through her friend Melinda Lafitte getting involved with our network of schools.  Little did she know that volunteering to be on our Road To College Fundraising Committee with Melinda would eventually lead to a weekly commitment supporting scholars at Uplift Peak Preparatory! After agreeing to join the committee and learning more about Uplift’s mission and goals for our scholars, Nancy decided she wanted to join us in the work we are doing to make sure each of our scholars is college ready.

During the 2014-15 school year, Nancy spent time every Monday working with 2nd graders and Kindergarteners who needed support in math and literacy.  She was able to provide valuable small group instruction for scholars who needed it the most by sharing her time with Uplift Peak scholars.  Nancy’s favorite part of her volunteer experience has been the kids she has worked with.

“They are so eager to learn, and excited to see me every time I come,” she said.

The feeling is certainly mutual.  Uplift Peak Primary Dean Kathryn Little worked with Nancy last year.

“It was so fun watching the scholars work with Mrs. Snell. They lit up every Monday morning knowing she would be coming to work with them that day. She worked with some of my highest scholars on growing their reading levels. This gave these scholars an opportunity to receive enrichment, outside of the classroom, every week. The KC Aggies had so much growth last year from the dedication Mrs. Snell put into working with them!” Ms. Little said.

The scholars she worked with were just as appreciative.  Jayden shared, “Mrs. Snell helped me figure out hard words. She always asked me how my weekend was. She helped me read the titles of the stories. She is helpful with helping me grow my reading level.” And Ava, another 1st grader, said “Mrs. Snell helped me with reading. She helped me figure out the words. She is nice when she helped me read.”

This year, Nancy will be transitioning into a new volunteer role at Uplift Peak.  She will be a Reading Partner to an elementary scholar who needs additional one on one attention in literacy to read on grade level.

Reading Partners is a national non-profit dedicated to unlocking the skills of students who struggle with reading.  This school year, using volunteers, Reading Partners will provide one-on-one reading instruction to students reading below grade level at six Uplift primary school campuses: Uplift Peak (East Dallas), Uplift Pinnacle (Oak Cliff), Uplift Hampton (South Dallas), Uplift Gradus (South Dallas), Uplift Heights (West Dallas) and Uplift Williams (West Dallas).  Volunteers will use a structured curriculum to help students learn the specific skills necessary to become proficient readers. No prior teaching or tutoring experience is necessary because each lesson comes with step-by-step instructions and all of the needed materials. This is a flexible opportunity, as you set the time/day you come to read with your scholar, for just one hour a week. We would love to see you on campus!

In Nancy’s own words, “Everyone can make a difference.  If you have an hour a week to spare, you will be richly rewarded!” Thank you Nancy, for everything you do for our scholars!

To sign up to be a Reading Partner, visit their website here: http://readingpartners.actonservice.com/acton/fs/blocks/showLandingPage/a/15166/p/p-0004/t/page/fm/1.

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