Volunteers are making a difference in the reading skills of local second graders.  That is the message from one volunteer, who says the Reach Out and Read program has provided over 500 shared reading experiences for second graders at East Elementary School in Alton.

Steve Thompson of CNB Bank says that is 500 times students were able to share a book with an adult who provides attention, literacy support, positive feedback, and encouragement.

Click here for Thompson's comments

The goal is to get these students to read at or above grade level by the time they enter third grade.  Thompson says studies show kids that are not hitting that mark only go on to college at a rate of 20%.  Thompson says an average of 8 volunteers have filled 23 days of before school reading opportunities each Tuesday through Friday morning through October 31.


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