Male mentors read to Peoria students
Sections    Friday February 28th, 2020
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Male mentors read to Peoria students

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  • Erin Dunsey/Peoria Unified School District

The Peoria Guys Read program is currently underway at the Peoria Unified School District. Peoria Guys Read is a program where male MENtors from the community volunteer their time to read in the classroom to Peoria Unified students.

The MENtors began reading to second, fourth and seventh-grade students on Jan. 24 and will do so again on Feb. 21 and March 21 at Cotton Boll and Peoria elementary schools.

 The Peoria Guys Read program began six years ago and has grown since its inception. There are 16 MENtors participating this year, some who are returning volunteers. These volunteers all come from different backgrounds including business professionals, retirees and district employees.

Each MENtor is assigned a classroom and given a grade-level appropriate book to read to the students along with instructions on how to engage them in a classroom discussion. Before the book is opened, the students spend time getting to know their MENtor. The volunteer uses that opportunity to talk about their background, hobbies and how reading has affected their life.

The goal of the program is to improve the students’ reading and listening skills and encourage students to read for enjoyment. Many students benefit from being read to by a male role model, especially those who may not have a father figure at home. At the end of the program, each student is given a copy of the book to keep.

The Peoria Unified School District serves more than 36,000 students in 32 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school and was the first district in the state to receive the prestigious AdvancED Accreditation. With ongoing open enrollment and unique educational opportunities, the district boasts a 93 percent high school graduation rate.

Peoria Unified prides itself on excelling schools, award-winning teachers, high AIMS test scores, specialized signature programs and championship sports programs.