By Laurie Hanson, The Youth Center
While discovering a love for reading or by receiving tutoring, children at the Youth Center after school programs in Los Alamitos and Rossmoor are improving academically.
For 30 minutes a day kids broaden their horizons and improve literacy skills by reading books donated to the Youth Center. New reading materials are always needed as kids go through their mobile library rapidly.
“We’ve got kids who have fallen in love with books,” said After School Program Director Jay Martz. “They’re always looking for new, more challenging things read, and I believe our literacy program has helped them academically.” The R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Program in Rossmoor Park where the Youth Center’s Reading Program is out of remains affordable at $120 a month per child.
“The R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Program serves as an everyday facilitator to the world of reading,” added Martz. “With their reading program, R.A.S.C.A.L.S. initiates all the members to read to reach their goals and earn special rewards and prizes. As the kids focus in on achieving their goals and earning their prizes, subconsciously all of our members are refining their reading skills.”
According to the National Endowment of the Arts, reading for pleasure correlates with academic achievement and opportunity for future career growth. It is strongly correlated to academic achievement, increased employment opportunities and civic engagement (www.asccc.org/content/reading-may-be-key-unlocking-basic-skills-success).
Besides their literacy program, The Youth Center’s offers very affordable tutoring that is already helping children to improve their grades. Tutoring costs $10 per 30 minute session and can go as long as an hour in duration, and is usually done by high school or college students at either Rossmoor Park or Los Alamitos location.
“Since we have implemented the program we have helped over 18 kids improve their grades! “Martz said. “Our tutoring program facilitates that our members to focus on their homework with a one on one tutor the whole way through. As the sessions progress our members build confidence and self-esteem as they begin to become more proficient in the subject at hand.”
Martz continued, “Some families can’t afford the fee, so we’re reaching out to the community so more kids can benefit from the program. We’ve already got many families on a waiting list in need of financial assistance to be able to participate in the tutoring program. Any and all sponsorships are very much appreciated and welcomed.”
If you’d like to either donate books to the R.A.S.C.A.L.S. Reading Program or help fund students in the Youth Center’s Tutoring Program, please call the office at 562-493-4043. For more information on The Youth Center, please visit their website at www.theyouthcenter.org.