Mentoring Book Club
ASM partners with Ravenswood district counselors and the curriculum and instruction team to implement a mentoring book club to help a select group of 5th grade students improve their reading comprehension skills while also addressing the students' social-emotional challenges. The 12 week program is held each spring. Book club leaders use a pre-selected book as a catalyst for discussion with students. If this is interesting to you, we ask that you begin building a relationship in a 5th grade class by volunteering through ASM. We will ask all 5th grade volunteers their preference to move forward with support of a book club at the start of the calendar year.
Volunteer Jessie Chan believes one key reason ASM makes a difference is that the support provided to students is flexible, fluid, and open. In addition to leading the Mentoring Book Club program, she knows the importance of being able to support each student’s individual needs.
This approach was particularly helpful when Jessie was working with a 4th grade boy with selective mutism. By finding something he had a passion for (military history) she was able to use specific reading materials and discussions to help him open up. Soon he was talking and writing more, and improving greatly in both academics and self-confidence. “I think everybody needs to have purpose. For me, it is supporting kids and especially education - there is no bigger impact, which is why I do it.”
Jay Siegel has been a classroom volunteer with All Students Matter since 2015, on ASM’s Board of Directors since 2017 and has led one of the 5th grade book clubs.
During his regular one-on-one tutoring, Jay worked with a student who was struggling to read, but enjoyed Pokémon, a game centered on fictional creatures. Jay got the Pokémon manual, which they read together for many weeks. The student's reading skills improved and eventually the student became fascinated with the Harry Potter books and cheerfully dove into those fantasy novels.
Jay says, “Although you are primarily working on reading and comprehension skills, it’s the social-emotional support the student receives which creates a real boost in enthusiasm and self-confidence.”