By: Cassidy Tolley
Soon, senior students of Ripley High School will once again become regulars at Ripley Elementary. They will be joining the Read Aloud West Virginia program to volunteer their time to the students of the elementary school. Read Aloud West Virginia is an ongoing program in our state, started in 1987. It was founded by a group of Kanawha County parents to “help raise a state full of readers”. Read Aloud WV relies on volunteers to read to children in classrooms, day-care centers, and after-school programs to promote the importance of reading.
In Ripley, the Read Aloud program has been a success for the past few years with the help of parent volunteers and other community members. Now, Ripley High School is getting involved to support the cause. Seniors who are service learning have the opportunity to become a member of Read Aloud WV and read to Ripley Elementary School students.
“All volunteers, including our students, must first go through training in order to join the program,” said Read Aloud coordinator and counselor at RHS, Tina Holley.
The training for Read Aloud consisted of speakers instructing the high school students of what they might expect and what is expected of them in return. Once a month, a senior service learner will be able to visit a classroom at the Elementary School and read a book of their choice. The book is recommended to be pre-approved by the Ripley Library. The student is recommended to be very familiar with the book and should read through the material at least three times.
“Little kids view older teenagers as role models,” said Holley “By reading to them, we hope that our students at RHS will help to set a positive example about the importance of reading.”
October 12 was the first day Ripley High School began to participate in the Read Aloud program, and so far it has been a great success.
“The students really seemed to enjoy it,” said senior service learner Krissa Scarberry. “They laughed a lot.”