The funds will be used to purchase books for children and to hire a program coordinator (part-time), expanding the program to Lee, Eccles, and Trost elementary schools in 2017-18.
"The Canby Center is delighted to partner with the Canby School District and the Oregon Community Foundation to help our emerging young readers become passionate about reading," said Ray Keen, executive director of The Canby Center. "Reading forms the foundation for education, employment, and personal growth. The children in our program read with their mentor once a week and take home a free book once a month throughout the school year enabling the child to build a personal library at home."
The Reading Mentors Program pairs community volunteers one hour a week with emerging young readers. In the pilot year at Knight Elementary School, children in the program met their reading growth goal 15 percent more often than those in a control group outside the program.
"The Reading Mentors program, underneath the Canby Reads initiative started by superintendent Trip Goodall is making a real difference. As someone who has daily contact with the homeless in Canby, I know firsthand that reading is essential to a person's dignity and economic sustainability," said Keen. ""We had 25 volunteers in the program this year, and we need about 75 more volunteers next fall to take the program to Trost, Lee, and Eccles elementary schools. One hour a week is all it takes to inspire a child on to a life of great opportunity."