Photo by: JEFFREY ZAMPANTI - Fourth grader Paulina Munoz gets assistance from volunteer tutor Jack Tisdale at Forest Park Elementary in Kenosha. The United Way of Kenosha County kicked off its annual Readers Are Leaders program on Tuesday.

Readers Are Leaders kicks off at Kenosha Unified schools

Annual program pairs young learners with volunteer tutors

KENOSHA, Wis. — The United Way of Kenosha County kicked off its annual Readers Are Leaders program at multiple Kenosha Unified schools on Tuesday.

The program pairs elementary students with volunteer tutors at a critical time. Third grade is often identified as the time when students’ progress from learning to read to reading to learn.

Kenosha Unified third graders are performing below state average in English Language Arts, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Kenosha’s Sandra Johnson has been tutoring students in the program for the past four years.

“I do this because if children don’t read at grade level by the time they’re in third grade, chances are they never will,” Johnson said.

Kenosha’s Jack Tisdale has been tutoring Forest Park Elementary fourth grader Paulina Munoz for the past two years.

Tisdale said it was nice to be reunited with Munoz on Tuesday.

“I think her progress has been great from last year,” Tisdale said. “She’s a very good reader. I just enjoy being with her and listening to her read. If I can help her, that’s what I’m here for.”

The program started in 2014 at McKinley Elementary. It has since expanded to Forest Park, Grant, Southport and McKinley.

The United Way of Kenosha County is celebrating its 100th anniversary on Saturday. In honor of the milestone, the non-profit is hoping to reach 100 volunteers for its Readers Are Leaders program.

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