About 16 years ago, John Copeland’s wife found a flyer advertising a program called “Read Naturally” that was looking for volunteers to come and tutor children who had trouble reading. Copeland decided to get involved out of curiosity. To this day, he has continued volunteering and now tutors students at Holy Name of Jesus School in Wayzata in reading and math.
Copeland says he is grateful to have been raised in a home where his parents encouraged reading and exposed him to many books. When Copeland was growing up, he says his father would tell him, “We have to give back to those who have given to us.” And tutoring has been his way to do this.
The Trillium Woods resident says he loves everything about tutoring. It is always exciting to see the first graders experience a light-bulb moment when they begin to understand what they are being taught or seeing how eager they are to begin reading chapter books, he says. He likes hearing from the fourth graders, saying, “They always ask such interesting questions.”
Besides helping with reading on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Copeland also comes on Fridays to assist the fourth graders with math. Some have even started algebra.
Copeland’s advice for someone who wants to start volunteering as a tutor is to talk to someone at a local school and offer to assist in whatever areas they may need help.
He encourages anyone to try and says, “It is a very, very rewarding thing.”
Interested in tutoring? Here are some options:
Literacy Volunteer Program at Wayzata Public Schools
Charlene.Barghini@wayzata.k12.mn.us // 763.745.5045
Deb Sakry Lande
DLande@iocp.org // 763.489.7509
AmeriCorps programs: Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps
readingandmath.net // 866.859.2825