Power Readers is a reading-based mentoring program that matches volunteers from the community with elementary school students to read together for an hour a week throughout the school year. There are no lesson plans, no curriculum.
Instead, Power Readers gives children a safe and judgement-free space to practice their reading and find joy in books. At the same time, the personal attention from a mentor helps students build core social-emotional competencies, something critical to success in the classroom and beyond.
Power Readers supports students at 7 public elementary schools across the Washington Metro Area. Sessions are offered during the students' lunch and recess period so as not to disrupt classroom learning. Students are recommended to the program by teachers and school staff, but participation is 100% voluntary. Once enrolled, a student can remain in the program, scheduling permitting, until the end of elementary school.
Power Readers also offers virtual sessions as part of an afterschool program, with mentors and students reading together via an online library.
Whether in-person or online, the reading relationships built during Power Readers help children build literacy skills, develop social-emotional competencies, and find joy in books. Combined, these are at the foundation of a child's success in the classroom, the community, and in life.
"Before I came to [Power Readers], I wasn’t that great at reading. I wasn’t on my reading level. But now I am!"
Power Readers Student
"When I first started [Power Readers] I did not read out loud much, so I acted confident on the outside, but was anxious inside. But now I'm confident both inside and out!"
Power Readers Student
"Self confidence has been the biggest areas of impact for students! They love going to their session and feel great when they return!"
"It was wonderful to see [my mentee]'s confidence grow as her reading improved. We built a fun, trusting relationship and enjoyed learning together each week."
Power Readers Mentor
"Students gain self-confidence and a positive attitude toward reading because of their 1:1 relationships with mentors."