Rotary Reading Rangers


Need   Vision  Opportunity  Volunteer  Model  Results  Contact

Reading Rangers Sign Up Genius for 2018-2019

Check out Sign up Genius, sign up for a slot (or more) that best fits your schedule.   Tell your friends!  We have over 5000 slots available this year.

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”.

For the 2017 -2018 school year, we asking people to give Rangers a try.  We will set up a sign up genius website that volunteers can access and sign up for a specific day and time.   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.

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 2018 – 2019 school year:

  • Select one (or more) of the available slots on the Sign up Genius.  You decide based on your schedule.
  • Reading Rangers Sign Up Genius for 2016 -2017

–      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 – may be set up upon request

–      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 between 2-3 pm
  • 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 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-3 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!


Reading Rangers


School year beginning in
2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 Total
# Rangers 37 20 35 35 52 179
# Hours 440.5 292 566 580 600 2478.5
Added School Days 73 49 94 97 100 413

Rangers effectively add instructional days to the school.  Rangers are teacher multipliers, we allow teachers to focus on other kids.  Some students have experienced 18 months worth of growth in 6 months by working with Rangers and other interventions.

Hope you will join the posse.


Check out the cascading benefits of the program from the presentation on the Ranger Ripple Effect.



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