“I began tutoring with the library because I wanted to help students succeed in school and in life," said Sriya Dhupati, a 14-year old student at Pine Lake Preparatory who volunteers as a tutor in Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s VolunTeen tutoring program. The program is designed to improve the confidence of students who struggle academically.
When Dhupati began tutoring 8-year old Sriswaroop Koundinay, she feared a lack of motivation would be a barrier to keeping Sriswaroop from progressing with reading.
“Sriswaroop was a good reader; however, he was not very confident in his abilities and did not enjoy reading,” Dhupati said.
Instead of dedicating their tutoring sessions to comprehension and grammar preparation, she decided to spend their one-on-one time developing Sriswaroop’s confidence and interest in reading.
"It's not just about getting books into their hands, but it's about reading with the children and making sure they're excited about reading and books. Books that peak their interest," said Cordelia Anderson, director of marketing and communications for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. "My hope for this book drive and the partnership is that it will raise awareness about the importance of literacy in our community."
From March 25 to April 21, WAXN-TV, in partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, will collect new and gently used children and teen books. All donated books will be distributed by the library to area children and teens through Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Outreach Services without the need to check out and return the book.
Sriswaroop’s mom, Sreelakshmi Sridhar, was impressed with the program and her son’s improvement, saying, “The program gave Sriswaroop an opportunity to improve on his skills and, at the same time, to learn from the experiences of senior students.”
Sriswaroop said he was able to apply his new skills to more than just reading.
“It helped me think of new ways and new strategies to help solve complicated problems,” Sriswaroop said. “My favorite part was when I got to read the story. It is fun.”
Students who lack confidence are likely to avoid reading activities, which, over time, results in loss of reading skills. Dana Eure, associate director of lifelong learning for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, said it is critical for students to consistently practice reading, even in the summer when reading gaps are most common.
“If you're not practicing reading, you're going to lose skills," Eure said. "You're going to lose fluency and stamina,"
If your organization or business would like to get involved or help with any WAXN-TV/WSOC-TV community campaign, please email your inquiry to Kevin Campbell, community affairs manager at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.
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