Reading Aces builds connections. We connect children with positive role models. We connect children to storybooks. And, above all, we connect children to a love of reading.
Core Literacy Programs
Reading Aces works to improve literacy skills in low-income elementary students. Founded by a high school student in 2009, the program emphasizes the importance and rewards of community service in teens, while demonstrating the power of one-on-one oral reading.
For 45 minutes, once a week, high school and college volunteers attend designated Houston and Austin community centers and elementary schools. Reading Aces provides each site with boxes of donated children's books. Reading Aces mentors are paired with 1-3 elementary students, and the small groups read books aloud.
The beauty of Reading Aces is in its simplicity. Merely reading aloud has proven benefits. It helps children acquire early language skills, develop positive associations with books and reading, and builds a stronger foundation for academic success.
My all-time favorite Reading Aces memory is when one student shyly walked up to me, asking if I could help her read. We read, sounding out each word together. Once we finished, I asked if she wanted to keep the book as a token of achievement. The smile she gave me was incredibly uplifting. Although we read only one book, I felt I’d made an important impact on this child’s life. -Jessica Tom, Austin President, 3 year volunteer-
My favorite thing about volunteering with Reading Aces are the funny things that the kids will say to you. For example, one boy asked me, ‘Are you married? Because people over 30 are normally married’ I’m 20… I used to love it when my parents would read to me at night before I went to sleep, so I love being about to return the favor through Reading Aces. -Kaeli Baker, Site Coordinator, 3 year volunteer-
My favorite thing about Reading Aces is encouraging the kids to read out loud with me because it's great to see them gain confidence in their reading abilities. -David Nguyen, 1 year volunteer-