Recently my student, Leilani, who I tutor through ReadingPartners.org, was celebrated at its annual fundraiser, “A Novel Night in San Francisco.” We read letters we wrote to each other on stage, capturing our fun tutoring experience. Kristi Yamaguchi, an Olympic champion skater who hosted the event, presented all who attended with her latest children’s novel, “Cara’s Kindness.”
ReadingPartners.org is a wonderful organization started 20 years ago which has helped underserved children. They place trained, dedicated volunteers in low-income schools to provide one-on-one tutoring to students who struggle. It is a very satisfying experience to see the progress these students make and if you are looking to volunteer for a great cause, this is it!
Here is the letter I read to Leilani in the photo:
I recall when we first met that you told me you had been waiting awhile for a tutor with Reading Partners as there were limited tutors and you were excited to finally have one. When we started, you were just beginning to discover reading. I have watched as you have greatly improved your English reading skills and have advanced a number of grade levels in your reading ability.
You are a bright and inquisitive young girl and I knew from the minute I met you that you were filled with potential. There have been many new concepts of a story you have quickly learned while we were working together, like what are characters, inferences and conclusions. You enjoy reading and your favorite subjects are any kind of animals from snakes to sharks and in between. You also like stories about successful women like Harriet Tubman and Ruth Bader Ginsberg and you were excited in 2016 about the possibility of having a woman president. Maybe next time.
I can see that Reading Partners has allowed you to gain more confidence with your reading skills which can only result in your advancing in school and in life more than you would have done without Reading Partners. I hope that you will continue your studies beyond high school and attend college. You have a lot of empathy for people. Sympathy is when you understand how someone else is feeling, empathy is when you actually feel what another person is feeling. I can tell from your reaction to stories we read where the characters in the story are struggling with some difficulty that you have empathy for them.
I am confident that whatever profession you choose you will be helping people in some way, and that you will be successful!
All my best to you,