By DeAnn Lubell
Photo provided by Read With Me Volunteers
Read With Me Volunteer Programs began in 2004 by Roberta and Clay Klein when they found out from the Coachella Valley School District that local schools needed English-speaking role models to help students improve their English language skills.
Its mission evolved to help disadvantaged children who live in poverty and come from homes where no English is spoken to learn to read and speak English. All research on the effectiveness of education indicates that if a child is not reading at grade level by third grade, they will drop out of high school and fail to succeed at work, and often get in trouble and wind up in prison.
It is now 2023 and Read With Me Volunteers recruits, trains and mobilizes nearly 700 active retired volunteer tutors at 15 schools in the Coachella Valley. In concert with senior volunteers, dedicated teachers in the classroom and community sponsors such as churches, clubs, and senior citizen centers, Read With Me Volunteer Programs tutors more than 4,200 children and engages more than 10,000 children a year to help them with English language acquisition and provide them with books.
When Read With Me Volunteers received a request to start their proven tutoring program at Cathedral City’s Agua Caliente Elementary School, they turned to the Cultivating Inland Empire Latino Opportunity or CIELO Fund at the Inland Empire Community Foundation for a grant. The application was accepted and $10,000 was awarded.
“When the opportunity came up to apply for a grant through CIELO, we knew it would be a perfect fit,” said President and Founder Roberta Klein. “95% of the students at Agua Caliente Elementary School in Cathedral City are Latino. Only 26% score at or above reading at grade level. With the $10,000 grant from CIELO, we will be able to provide 25-30 volunteers to tutor children from low-income families who are having difficulty with reading and comprehending English.”
For more information about Read With Me Volunteer Programs or to volunteer please go to their website at www.readwithmevolunteers.com or call 760-567-1830.