A few years ago, I attended a talk on “effective altruism” as part of the Caltech Y’s Social Activism Series. The speaker mentioned the importance of ensuring that donating your time and/or money truly has an effective positive impact. I took this statement to heart and hope to do just that every time I go to Kids Reading to Succeed (KRS).
KRS is a program that aims to inspire a love for reading among young students who are struggling with reading in school. Many of these students do not speak English at home and KRS offers them an opportunity to practice reading outside of a school, one-on-one with tutors who are volunteers like myself and my peers at Caltech. Every time I work with a student at KRS, I work to meaningfully and “effectively” improve their reading skills, whether it is teaching them how to break larger words into smaller known parts or concretely learn the definitions for several words they have not encountered before. I enjoy seeing something click for a once-struggling reader and enabling that child to read more independently. I love seeing them have fun reading and eager to choose their own books to read.
Many of these students do not speak English at home and KRS offers them an opportunity to practice reading outside of a school, one-on-one with tutors who are volunteers like myself and my peers at Caltech.
In the interactive part of KRS, we have done science experiments with the kids including making slime, creating lava lamps, building towers out of newspapers, and constructing balanced durable boats. Through these activities, we have fun seeing the students enjoy learning about fundamental scientific concepts and applying them in a tangible fun manner as well as helping them in this endeavor.
KRS does more than simply help children read words. It provides both individual attention and a variety of activities to nurture a love of reading in these youngsters. I am grateful to be a part of that.