Volunteering a few hours each week to some community activity is an important way of investing in the future of our society. I chose to spend my time working with elementary school children helping them to learn to read. Developing good reading skills will help these students keep up with their classmates, open new worlds to them, and help them succeed in life.
Students who are not good readers cannot keep up with their studies. They will not understand the lessons; they will come to school unprepared; they will not be able to perform. By learning to read, students will be on equal footing with their classmates. They will be active participants in class.
Books on different lifestyles, occupations, cultures, or governments will open new doors to students. Students who cannot read will only know what they see around them. Students who can read will be able to travel to new worlds and experience new ideas without ever leaving their classrooms. Today, a person who cannot read is severely handicapped. A non-reader will have to work at the most menial jobs. Readers, especially good readers, have the whole universe open to them. They will have the possibility to learn any job that interests them.
By volunteering to help an elementary school child learn to read, I am helping him or her not only today, but also for the rest of his or her life. I am helping them keep pace with their peers and explore the world and themselves through books.