Our January Volunteer of the month is Christopher McCollum. This is Christopher’s second year serving as a Reading Buddy volunteer at Rogers Elementary in SAISD. Christopher is an Instructor of Theater at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). He first heard about SAYL and the Reading Buddy Program through a report on Texas Public Radio, and after learning more about the program saw how important it was to help students with their reading. “After 2nd grade students have to read to learn, and if not they fall exponentially behind. I see some UIW students that struggle. It’s an hour a week and it makes a difference,” noted McCollum.
In addition to being passionate about the mission, Christopher is an excellent tutor and mentor to the students he serves. He has created great rapport with both his students and their teacher. His warm demeanor helps create a positive tutoring environment in which students grow in both reading skill and confidence. He seeks out new ideas and suggestions from his Program Manager to incorporate into his sessions. Christopher’s dedication shows in the numbers as well: last year he completed 28 sessions with each of his Reading Buddies!