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Dentist Seattle WA | Volunteering with Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program

Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program is the leading provider of children’s books and literacy services in Washington State.

A child who is not reading proficiently at the end of third grade is FOUR times more likely to drop-out of school before graduating than one who is.  Page Ahead works to break down barriers to achievement for children in need, and is committed to help all children become successful readers. Smiley Boy looking over shoulder DSCF6969

To give children from low-income families the opportunity to be read to, Page Ahead has trained Story Time volunteers to read to pre-school and kindergarten-age children, and lead them in reading related activities.  These activities develop important pre-reading skills.  Story Times convey the fun and adventure of reading, and get young children excited about becoming readers.  Children who want to learn to read are more likely to become strong readers.

Story Times reach more than 1,000 children in need each year, none of which would be possible without the help of dynamic, caring, and well-trained volunteers like our dental hygienist Debbie Baily.  Debbie first heard about Page Ahead and the Story Time program in 2008 from a patient at Amato Dental Group.  Our dental hygienist Debbie loved the idea that she could share her love of reading with kids who needed help, and immediately signed up to volunteer.  Eight years later – “Miss Debbie” can still be found at Odyssey Elementary in Everett every other Monday, leading her kinders through stories like The Cow Loves Cookies or Pirates Don’t Change Diapers!

P1020173 - Debbie Bailey“I am proud to be part of Page Ahead because you see the difference our activities make in these children’s critical thinking and reading skills. Yes, there are heartbreaking stories but my students are like most children, they say or do the funniest things. One boy, associated reading with his mom reading to him at bedtime. On his first Story Time with me, he snuggled my leg while I was reading to the class(the rest of the class was clueless so I read on).  A little weird having  a child stuck like glue to your leg.”

“At the end of my Story Time days, my heart is glowing from all the positive energy and excitement the kids have about reading-that’s what keeps me coming back.” -Debbie

You can learn more about Page Ahead at www.pageahead.org.  Volunteer applications are being accepted for Story Time programs that will start in Fall 2016!

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