RSVP Seeks Senior Volunteers to Read with Children

By at August 24, 2017 | 2:00 pm | Print


Are you 55 or over, love children and enjoy reading aloud? If you answered ‘yes’ then the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has an opportunity for you.

The Community Renewal Team’s RSVP is actively seeking volunteers age 55 plus with a passion for reading to serve in its signature program, READs, for the 2017-18 school year in five local communities including Berlin and New Britain.

The program is seeking 200 plus volunteers to cover the schools in these communities.

The RSVP READs program is a school-based program where volunteers are partnered with students in local elementary schools, providing reading guidance for 1 hour per week from October to May during the school year. Tutors in the RSVP READs program help to make reading fun for students, serving as positive role models that inspire students to develop their own love of reading.

“As a READs RSVP Tutor, we can promise you that you will truly make a difference in the lives of the students you help throughout the year,” says Theresa Strong, RSVP Manager for the Community Renewal Team. “Volunteer today and share your love of reading with children in your community.”

According to Jason Black, Strategic Communications Specialist, the program is targeting kids at the elementary level.

“No past experience is necessary, but we need seniors who have time to give,” Black said. “We do work with them to make sure they are set up for an appropriate experience at school.”

The program is being done at both Smith and Smalley Elementary Schools this coming school year.

Over 325 volunteers participated in CRT’s Greater Hartford RSVP program last year at over 35 different sites. Volunteers receive training and are supported in their volunteer placements to ensure a satisfying experience.

“It is a great opportunity for kids and seniors in the area,” Black added. “They give of their time and have a love of reading. They share that passion with the kids.”

Books can be chosen from a variety at the library or from classroom projects.

To get started, volunteers simply need to let the RSVP team know what weekdays you are available to give at least one hour, and which school district you want to help. You will then be placed with the program that meets your availability. You can also choose to serve as a substitute in the reading program, if that better fits with your schedule.

Choose your site from a list of nonprofit agencies, organizations and schools throughout Central Connecticut. RSVP offers a variety of activities to choose from — tutoring and mentoring children, transporting seniors to medical appointments, helping travelers at the airport, working with families in need or helping seniors “age in place”.

Other programs include seniors taking other seniors to medical appointment throughout the area and ambassadors at Bradley Airport. Ambassadors meet people going or coming from flights that need information such as finding gates or luggage areas.

Individuals that would like to volunteer should contact Theresa Strong, RSVP Manager of the Community Renewal Team, via email at or by calling 860-519-3484.

Visit the website for additional information:

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