"This is the first program that ever got our students to read. It has been absolutely amazing."
—Carla Clauschee, librarian
Navajo Pine High School
Navajo, New Mexico
This innovative mentoring program brings together children from low-income backgrounds and college student reading mentors to read books and discuss them online in a specially designed forum. Students are paired with Amherst College reading mentors to read books and discuss them online in a specially designed forum. This cultivates a love of reading, builds vocabulary and critical thinking skills, and helps students get through books they may be struggling with. The students not only receive positive feedback and academic support, but also much-needed role models.
Every few years, a group of mentored students from the Navajo Nation spends a week at Amherst College learning about the college experience and a wide variety of career options first hand from scientists, doctors, lawyers, writers and artists. The goal of the trip is to motivate them to attend college; to give them an understanding of the college application process; and to help them see that academic achievement in high school is the key to success in college.
"With online connections now present in most urban schools, we've got one half of the personal 'mentoring' program in place. David Mazor's Reader To Reader project now completes the formula, providing top-notch college students as mentors via the Web and email. What the program accomplished with motivating Native-American youths while connecting them to college-age mentors 3,000 miles away is one of those unsung success stories that deserves national recognition. It begs the question: Why isn't it being adopted by other cities and rural districts across the nation?"
Noted literacy advocate and author of The Read-Aloud Handbook