BECKLEY – Raleigh County has a new set of volunteers for a program designed to improve children's reading levels.
The “Read Aloud” program aims to boost the proficiency of students by getting them involved in books.
The program puts volunteers into classrooms once a week in 17 area elementary schools.
Officials say West Virginia is one of only four states whose scores did not improve over the last 10 years, and that means change is needed.
Organizers say just a small amount of time can go a long way.
“Read Aloud” trainer and director Leslie Baker says children are far behind the national average.
“Our 4th graders are not proficient, not reading up to level, and it's a proven fact that if you read, and you read early and often that children become readers.”
Bakers adds, “We all know that if you develop that skill early on it's a skill that will help you throughout the rest of your life.”
She says the best part about reading to children is that it's free.