Grandparents May Be The Answer To Oklahoma's Educational Problems

It's no secret that many of Oklahoma students struggle with their reading skills.

In the recent 3rd grade reading tests, 60 students in Sapulpa and Creek County didn't make the grade. So they're attacking the problem with a novel approach.

They're turning the county's grandparents into reading tutors. They expected to have about 10 grandparents show up at a training session in downtown Sapulpa.

Instead, they got 45 of them and there are more on the way. The desire to help, is why grandparents are a natural for this kind of volunteer work.

Volunteer Virginia Burdge says they know that life skills are important.

"Life is a struggle, so everything you can do to help to make life a little easier is important," says Virginia Burdge.

Volunteer Nancy Landholt says the tutoring can help in a lot of ways.

"Many of the kids who need help in reading also need emotional support," says Landholt.

The effort is put together by the Creek County Literacy Program.

While anyone can take part in the process, the grandparents have a special ability to make caring contact with the kids.

They have to do a minimum of one a tutoring session a week, but many do much more. The Reading Specialist who trains them says the volunteers also get a lot out of the process.

Donna Hall learned that when she taught her own granddaughter how to read last summer.

"She went to school and told the teacher she knew how to read and she's a kindergarten," says Hall. "You could tell it was just like that light bulb came on."

Those who'd like to volunteer, can contact the Creek County Literacy Program at 918-224-9647.