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Local Seniors Go Back To School To Help Kids Read


As students head back to school, so to are a team of volunteer literacy tutors.

The past few months have been marked by modest gains in achievement at MPS. At a very basic level, reading proficiency scores - reported in the spring - improved slightly. But district officials conceded then that the numbers were still too low, as MPS works toward the aims of its Comprehensive Literacy Plan.  

The RSVP Tutor program sends older adults back to elementary school to help students become stronger readers. The program is a partnership between MPS and Interfaith Older Adult Programs. 

"We are so happy to have these volunteers in our classrooms on the academic side as well as the social side for our students. [It] is such a great opportunity for our students to get extra support in the literacy training that they're receiving from their classroom, as well as just another friendly face in their building that students often look forward to," says MPS's volunteer coordinator Heather Aschoff.

Keith MacGaffey, Rosalie Greco, and Evelyn Ray-Cowan are all members of the Retired and Senior Volunteers Program at Milwaukee Public Schools. Samantha Garrett,  a former Lake Effect intern, directs the program for Interfaith Older Adult Programs, and Heather Aschoff is volunteer coordinator for MPS.  They spoke with Lake Effect's Mitch Teich.

Audrey Nowakowski is a WUWM host and producer for Lake Effect.