Reading PartnersReading Partners of Tulsa has named Brady Beard, a senior at Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences, as its outstanding mentor for Oklahoma Mentor Day.
Brady is in her third year as a volunteer for reading partners, which pairs young students who are behind in reading with tutors who can help them one-on-one. Reading Partners is an AmeriCorps affiliate that operates reading centers in under-resourced elementary schools across the country. The Tulsa Program currently serves 785 students at 17 school sites.
Brady became a Reading Partners volunteer after a Reading Partners representative spoke to her Key Club about the need for volunteers. After her first session with her reading buddy, she was hooked.
“I totally fell in love with it,” Brady said in an interview with the Tulsa World. She worked with the same student her first two years and is now working with 10-year-old boy at Mark Twain Elementary School. She said the program is a great way to help out the next generation. “I get happiness from it,” she said.
Jessica Risenhoover, senior community engagement manager with Reading Partners, said Brady is committed to helping students increase their reading proficiency.
“Her students adore her,” Jessica said. “She is always offering praise for their accomplishments and challenging them to reach greater heights. Brady is an effective tutor, always keeping the students best interest and learning in mind – and she does it with all of her heart.”
Brady has been a catalyst for many Tulsa School of Arts & Sciences’ students to become Reading Partners and has gone above and beyond the required minimum of volunteering one hour a week. She has been a strong advocate for the organization, participating in a tutor panel for new Reading Partners staff, speaking with local media about her involvement in the program and recruiting new volunteers.
At the end of the school year, one of Brady’s mentees, who had made significant strides in her reading skills, gave Brady a handmade card that said, “Good job! You made me like reading.”
After graduation, Brady plans to attend college in New Mexico and is hoping to start a Reading Partners branch in the city where she will be living.
Read more about Brady and watch a video about her mentoring experience in Tulsa Kids magazine.