The Volunteer Nation is a community of over 1,000 individuals across the world who graciously support Learning Ally’s mission. Volunteers share their talents to create human-read audiobooks and provide support in roles that help us reach the 30 million students who struggle to read. Join the Volunteer Nation in smashing the literacy divide and bring equitable education for all.
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This past year Learning Ally Education Solutions GM Tim Wilson approved a special project where we provided a license to the Brooklyn Urban Garden Charter School (affectionately known as BUGS) in return for the opportunity to study their experience with Learning Ally solutions. It was a truly fruitful year for the students and teachers, and yielded results even we did not expect.
During their introduction to Learning Ally in November, teachers were thrilled by the variety and quality of our solutions, with teacher Betsy McGowan, the school’s reading specialist, exclaiming, “It looks like Christmas came early this year!” By January all of Betsy’s students with reading deficits were registered with our program.
BUG’s eighth-graders were all assigned a dystopian novel, one which was available through our audiobook solution. More than a few students told Betsy that this was the first time they had read an entire book--Learning Ally made it possible for them.
The next assigned book, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah, was in our queue but unavailable when assigned. Encouraged by their success with their first book, many of the students were inspired to work really hard and read the print version! It took longer and they had to work much, much harder to keep up, but they liked the feeling of understanding and participating in the class discussions.
The final book for the school year was George Orwell’s classic, Animal Farm, already available through Learning Ally. One student told Betsy she had been able to learn so much more vocabulary using Learning Ally’s audiobook solution.
A few weeks ago we received a surprise at our Princeton office: a huge card thanking the Learning Ally team (that includes YOU, volunteers!). Each student signed their name and gave us the number of pages they read, all of them (and their teachers) so proud of their progress.
This kind of success is possible because of all the great people we have working on our solutions. This is just one example of how our volunteers make a difference in people’s lives every day--a difference that supports them through a lifetime of learning. Thank you all for the gifts of your time, talent, and treasure. Our friends at BUGS are just one small group that is grateful every day for your presence in their lives.
Metrics Update for this week:
Our readers increased to 211,197
We had 46,753 reading at frequency*
Happy Summer, and Happy Reading, everyone!
*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades). Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.