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Monterey County Reads

A Word from the Panetta Institute

Established in 1997, Monterey County Reads is a literacy initiative directed by the Panetta Institute that trains and places volunteers in public elementary schools throughout Monterey County. The program has been active at Del Rey Woods for several years. Volunteers in this program come from a wide variety of backgrounds including parents, community members, police officers and university students. All volunteers must be sponsored and attend a two-hour training session. Volunteers work with specially selected students who are reading at a level just below basic, and therefore receive the most benefit from the volunteers’ participation. In evaluating the progress of past students in the program, data has shown that as little as six hours of reading time with a volunteer per semester can have a dramatic impact on a young reader’s literacy skills. It is well known that students who do not gain strong reading skills in the early elementary grades are more likely to be struggling learners in later years. For this reason, the goal of Monterey County Reads is to have children reading at grade level by the end of third grade.

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Sylvia M. Panetta
Director, Panetta Institute for Public Policy