UNH Students Help Seacoast Children Learn To Read

Contact: Jessica D’Avanza

Dec. 21, 2004

DURHAM, N.H. – Amy Kaye, a junior at the University of New Hampshire, knows the importance of learning to read at an early age to achieve her goals. When opportunity knocked at her residence hall with a request to help Seacoast Reads, she signed on as a tutor for the child literacy program sponsored by AmeriCorps.
“What I like about Seacoast Reads is the ability to work one-on-one with a child,” says Kaye. “I really enjoy working with kids and at one point thought about becoming a teacher.”
While at UNH, Kaye is a resident assistant in Hetzel Hall, one of UNH’s 21 residence halls that have paired with a community service project in the area. Seacoast Reads tutors are assigned a child in either second or third grade from area elementary schools, meeting twice a week for 45 minutes. The focus is on building a child’s confidence to read. This is accomplished by reading a familiar book with the child, then using word games with magnetic letters or a white board, and lastly, by reading a new book with the child and asking comprehension questions.
The partnership began when Jen Golia, coordinator for Seacoast Reads and a UNH graduate, met up with her former hall director who was looking for a service project.
“I saw the results when I was a tutor and I think Seacoast Reads is a really good, quality program. Tutors learn just as much as the kids. I’m probably going to be a teacher, and this is a really good experience for that,” says Golia, who is working toward her masters in education at UNH.The match is turning out to be a very good fit for Hetzel Hall and a number of the residents. “Our residents contribute 10 percent of the campus tutors for this program,” says Patrick Wade, hall director.
“Lots of kids have great fluency, but not much comprehension”. “When a kid hears you reading out loud they think it’s the greatest thing in the world.”