Reading Partners, Tulsa
Years Matched: One
Susan Kay Watkins is recognized as a Reading Partner that consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty in her work with students at Mark Twain Elementary. Watkins has been matched with Chloe for the past year.
“When Susan began her second year of volunteering with Reading Partners, she told her new site coordinator that she wanted to work with children that others may find challenging to tutor,” said Jessica Risenhoover, director of External Relations. “Susan felt she had experience with certain behaviors and was willing to make her skills available to help not only a child that needed her, but also help other volunteers who may have been considering giving up.”
Watkins noticed from the beginning of their work together that Chloe has boundless energy. Watkins brings things from home and works to keep lesson time interesting. Watkins and Chloe love to use white boards or Play-Doh sculptures to express themselves and their feelings about the books they read. This helps Chloe stay engaged in their lessons and keep her focused.
“Susan has made lasting impressions with the students and Reading Partners staff at Mark Twain. She consistently makes her regular tutoring session, and often volunteers an extra three to four hours on any given make-up day,” shared Risenhoover. “Giving up so much of her spare time to support with make-up sessions directly contributed to a nearly 100 percent attendance rate for Mark Twain students in 2018-19.”
Watkins, a resident of Sapulpa, is the past event coordinator for the Tulsa Business and Legal News. She is a marketing major at Tulsa Community College.
About the Program: Reading Partners became part of the Tulsa educational landscape in 2013, when they first began placing community volunteers in low-income schools to help kids master basic reading skills. Their one-on-one tutoring model empowers students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide individualized, personal attention to each student in the program.