Because there’s no wrong way to read to a child.
It makes a lot of sense to me to be a volunteer for SMART. I know firsthand how SMART is changing lives and I know I am helping with that. I have been a SMART volunteer since 1994. I am very fortunate that the company I work with, The Standard, encourages their employees to volunteer. The Standard also has a Dollars for Doers program that recognizes employees for their community leadership and under the program they gave SMART $500 on my behalf. I know I make a big difference in the lives of children struggling to learn to read. When you start reading to a shy child at the beginning of the school year by the end of the year you can see they have more confidence in their reading ability. I love to watch their faces light up when I tell them they are doing a great job.
My philosophy is simple. There is no wrong way to read to a child. I never push the students, I just remain open and encouraging so they can explore what excites them. One of the students that I had was particularly fascinated with numbers. I work in an actuarial department so I encouraged the student to learn about math by giving her math problems. I noticed this was improving her reading, writing and listening skills as well. This has taught me that inspiring people of any age can be a realistic daily goal. The SMART program is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.