The Readers 2 leaders’ organization began five years ago with a mission to develop and grow reading skills of children in underserved communities. The community they chose to serve is West Dallas due to its high poverty and dropout rate. Dallas has a poverty rate of 38% and only 34% of all students in school are reading at their grade level. Now that the program has shown impactful results, Readers 2 Leaders will be expanding into different areas and schools.
“I’m excited to see how much we will grow and what we’re morphing into,” said Norma Nelson, Readers 2 Leaders Director.
Uplift has welcomed the Readers 2 Leaders organization at Uplift Heights serving 45 scholars in after school programs. With active small group and one-on-one teaching, scholars have the opportunity to engage and explore literacy. After school programs also work on homework to offer help with other subjects and understanding of reading material.
“Every class will require you to use your reading skills to understand the material, without proper reading skills it can cause a child to fall behind in all course work,” said Lisa Dickerson, Readers 2 Leaders Program Director.
When kids begin to learn how to read, they learn to understand what they are reading. These techniques have proven 11 1/2 months of reading and literacy improvement within seven months of participating in this program. One hundred percent of students in
Readers 2 Leaders demonstrate reading growth. Higher literacy rates can lead to lower dropout rates, lower chance of incarceration, and more children to continue on to higher education.
“The beauty of this partnership is not only that we are mission and vision aligned but the fluidity in the day to afternoon is so seamless to scholars which makes this partnership perfect,” said Kristin Algier, Uplift Heights Primary Director.
Readers 2 Leaders not only helps children but parents as well. They offer free parent prep
programs that teach parents what they need to know to help their children improve in reading at home. Parents learn tools and skills to guide their children as they grow and learn to read. These courses are created to help the continued growth of all children regardless of age. They also offer low-cost summer camps at their home facility in West Dallas at a low price, which consist of the reading program, activities and field trips.