Durham Public Schools is fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers, and Precious Alexandra Gill is no exception. Gill spends most of her free time volunteering as an America Reads tutor at RN Harris Elementary School.
“It’s more than a work study job, it’s like a second home. When my schedule permits, I am here almost every day”, says Gill, a junior Criminal Justice major at North Carolina Central University.
Gill provides one-on-one and small group literacy support for first graders needing extra support. And through the use of literacy manipulatives and read and response activities, her students have shown improved reading skills. Gill says she is particularly proud of one student who has made tremendous progress.
“I am not only a tutor, but I have become a mentor to these babies”, says Gill. And when asked about their friend Miss Precious, the students' faces light up. Many of them describe her as being “really nice”, “kind” and “a big help”. They even turn to her for assistance in conflict resolution.
America Reads is an initiative that began in 1996 under the Clinton Administration to have all elementary students reading at grade level by the third grade. It is a federal work-study program that allows NCCU to place students in multiple locations near the campus to serve as reading tutors.