PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Every student, regardless of their financial situation, deserves the very, very highest quality instruction," said Philadelphia reading specialist Angela Marks.
Marks founded Reading Allowed in 2019, a non-profit that connects families with reading tutors at a cost scaled to their income.
"That kind of individualized tutoring can cost anywhere from $70 to $150 an hour," she said. "So, it's out of the reach of obviously many, many families in Philadelphia."
Currently, roughly 50 tutors with Reading Allowed are changing the lives of about 170 students. One example can be found at Visitation BVM Catholic School in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood.
"Just having worked with Aniyah since the beginning of the school year, to see her growth and the things that she can do, it's remarkable," said Wilson Reading Tutor Colette McElwee.
McElwee has been helping 4th-grade-student Aniyah Robinson learn how to read, spell, and build self-confidence.
"Reading is important because it helps you, like, learn more big words, subjects, and proper nouns," said 9-year-old Robinson. "All kinds of stuff from reading."
The next-door Community Center at Visitation has awarded 19 families, including Robinson's, with their CCV Scholarship. The program is a multi-generational approach that also helps parents reach their goals, such as achieving a GED or other licenses.
"When I look outside, there are so many incredible assets within our residents and it just feels like they're not getting the resources that they deserve," said CCV Executive Director Katrina Keating. "So, Reading Allowed is really providing so much more than literacy. It's providing these students a path to an amazing life."
To learn more about Reading Allowed and how to inquire for their services, visit their website.
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