WBZ Cares: Generations Incorporated Volunteers Help Fill Gap In The Classroom

BOSTON (CBS) – Each month, WBZ Cares highlights a worthy non-profit organization, and tells the story of what that organization does for the community.

This month’s organization, Generations Incorporated, helps improve the literacy skills of kids from Kindergarten through 3rd grade by matching them up with older adult volunteers.

The volunteers are the backbone of the organization. Going into schools in Boston and Revere every week, and helping kids in Kindergarten through third grade become better readers. Director of Volunteer Management Kathryn Brown says hundreds of older adults volunteer, they keep coming back year after year.

“We are the little engine that could,” she said “We have 300 volunteers this year. For the past 15 years, we’ve had close to, anywhere from 200 to 300 volunteers. So we’ve been moving in the direction and keeping people engaged and keeping them for an average of three to five years.”

Liz MacNeil, a literacy specialist with the group, says their volunteers work one on one with young kids, and in small groups, providing valuable assistance to teachers as well.

“If we are working with a small group of children who are just a little below level, who need a little more of boost to stay on track or to catch up, we might free up the teacher’s time to work with the kids who are at the lowest levels and really need their teachers dedicated attention,” she said.

Brown says without their dedicated volunteers, they could not reach their goal of improving kid’s literacy skills.

“If we didn’t have 200 people showing up every day, at 18 locations, we wouldn’t have the impact that we do consistently day in and day out.”

For more information about Generations Incorporated, visit www.generationsinc.org or the WBZ Cares section on the CBSBoston.com website during the month of February.

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