Rotary Reading Rangers



Need   Vision  Opportunity  Volunteer  Model  Results  Contact

Reading Rangers Sign Up Genius for 2016 -2017

Take the 100 minute challenge: Volunteer just 100 minutes at YE Smith to improve literacy.  (You are welcome to sign up for more time.)  Tell your friends!  We have over 1300 slots available this year.

Please go to the Sign up Genius website and select the dates and times that work best with your schedule.

The Need – Why Rangers?

41% of Durham Students are below grade level on NC reading test                                           (According to )

  • Partner with East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) –

–      EDCI provides Cradle to College help to families

–      Focus on East Durham and schools listed below

–      Rotary Reading Rangers established in Sept. 2012

  •  YE Smith Elementary

–      350 students (Grades K-5) – 98% Free & Reduced (F&R) lunch

–      32% failed the Reading Test

–      Friday Clubs – present a hobby


The Vision

The vision of the Rotary Reading Rangers is simple: to get as many volunteers as possible into the schools to help children improve their literacy skills.  The ultimate goal is to create an easily replicated model that may be used in any school to add “Rangers” to their volunteer base.  Rangers are not limited to Rotarians.  Rotary has stepped up to provide leadership, organization, and coordination to the idea, but anyone willing and able to help read with a child is welcome to join.

Currently, we are attempting to help DPS reach its literacy goals (every child on grade level in reading) using different “tracks”.

“READ 100”: For the 2016-2017 school year, we are trying something a bit different.  We will set up a sign up genius website that volunteers can access and sign up for a specific day and time.  We are only asking for 100 minutes and we hope to have 100 spots to fill.  We will focus on K-1, because experience has demonstrated that we are able to move the needle the most in these lower grades.  Many of these kids need to “catch up” and Rangers are perfect for helping students work on letter recognition and phonics.  If we can help with these basics, we can make a difference.

Why 100 minutes?  If we can get 100 people to do 100 minutes, that is over 166 volunteer hours poured into the school.  Research indicates that a child will advance one grade level with an investment of 25 hours.  The Read 100 initiative has the potential of helping more than 6 kids advance or catch up a year of work.  Our Rangers would effectively add more than 27 days of individual instruction to the school year!  If we get more than 100 Rangers or if people give more than 100 minutes, the benefits only grow!

We have what we term as “Volunteers” these are people whose schedule does not allow a consistent commitment and these people try to do what they when they can.  These people would coordinate with the school and expect to be flexible; seeing different students each time they come and working on different skill levels.

Our “Regular Volunteers” are people who are willing to commit at least an hour per week to provide consistency to a child.  Regular Volunteers will be assigned a single child or small group of children to work with every week.  The children look forward to their Ranger time, and the Regular get a great deal of satisfaction in seeing their students improve.

In the immortal words or Dr. Seuss “you are never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

If we could get enough volunteers into the schools, we could significantly improve the literacy skill of our kids – our future.

Please consider joining the Rangers and help us “git to literacy” for every child.



  • Reading with Students

-For the 2016-2017 year, we are introducing “READ 100”.

–      As a “Regular Volunteer”

  • Regular weekly commitment =1 hour per week
  • Same time, same student
  • Tag Team: Partner with someone and “tag team” – 2 or more people can work with one child or time frame and coordinate schedules with the tag team partner such that the child is regularly seen but the Rangers don’t have to commit every week.
  • Training and Mentoring available

–      Ranger Training – by school administration

–      Augustine Trained Mentors provide tips and techniques

–      Augustine Project Training

–      As a “Volunteer”

  • Do what you can when you can
  • Work with School:

–      YE Smith Elementary

  • Friday Clubs – share a hobby or passion to a small group of interested students on Friday
  • PTA Presentation – to parents
  • Assembly Speaker – to group of students
  • Special Events – Rangers are often asked to assist with special events
    • Judges for the annual Spelling Bee
    • Support special assemblies or speakers
    • Share insights or travels
      • Had a presentation on Antarctica
      • Coordinated a Video Conference with a school in India

–       Work with EDCI



How to join The Posse!

Volunteers have to register online with Durham Public Schools (DPS) as a volunteer.  The process takes about 2 weeks.

–      Preferred Day: Monday – Friday

–      Preferred Time: YE Smith has Literacy Block from 0900-1100 – this is where you read one on one with a student or small group.  OR in the afternoon (2:45-3:45 PM) YE Smith does “Readers Workshop” where you are a facilitator, ensuring the student chooses an appropriate book for his/her skill level, and you can then assist the student while they read.

–      Preferred Grade:  If you have a preference, let us know.  Some people like the little kids (grades K-2) some prefer the older students (grades 3-5).  Our focus will be on K-1 but if you prefer older kids, we can accommodate you.


The Model




The Results

For Example: In 2013-2013

  • 52 Rangers signed up and assisted over 80 children
  • Over 600 volunteer hours
  • 58 Children (K-3) received consistent Tutor intervention
  • 48 of those children advanced one or more level on the MClass Scale
  • 83% showed improvement!


In 2013-2014

  • 32 Rangers
  • 580 volunteer hours in YE Smith alone, meaning we effectively added 66 days to the school year for the students we worked with.
  • Every student showed improvement and some students gained as much as a year and half’s worth of growth.
  • We allowed the professional educators (the teachers) to focus more time on the remaining children in the class.
  • Rangers provide experiences, enlightenment and context to the things taught in school.

In 2014-2015

  • 35 Rangers
  • 566 Volunteer Hours
  • Growth reported to show improvement for all students working with Rangers.

In 2015-2016

  • 20 Rangers
  • 8 Regular volunteers
  • Amassed 292 volunteer hours
  • All Ranger assisted students showed growth.  One child showed almost 18 months worth growth within 6 months!



Todd Taylor – (919) 680-5030 – Coordinator of Rotary Reading Rangers –

YE Smith Liaison – (919) 560-3900

Other useful Links:                                                                East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI)    Durham Literacy Center                                                             EDGE Training and Placement                                                  YMCA of the Triangle Area                                         Augustine Project                                                      Loaves and Fishes Ministry                                    Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocates!                          BootstrapsPAC