HARRIS' HEROES

Reading mentorship program helps young students

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It's not everyday you meet kids who love to read. And it's not everyday you can get them to read during lunch.

But students at Francis Stevens education campus are part of Everybody Wins! D.C. -- a reading mentorship program that helps students from first through eighth grades.

The mentors and their mentees are more like friends. Long-time mentor Richard Mintz and 3rd grader Cameron Butler have been working together for two-years.

“It's the best hour of my week,” Mintz says. “And we keep each other entertained.”

They learn a lot, too. Eighth grader Blake Snyder has been in the program since the first grade.

“It's fun to hear another person read differently than I do,” he says. “It kinda brings the story to life more.”

And Blake says he's become so good at reading, he even stumps his mentors.

Since partnering with Everybody Wins! D.C., Francis Stevens has seen a 10 percent increase in reading scores.

Vice Principal Jewel Hill directly links that to the mentors -- and that one-on-one time goes far beyond the classroom.

Everybody Wins! D.C. serves more than 4,000 students in 38 low-income public elementary schools in the District.

Nearly 1,200 professional adult volunteers help to shape the lives of each child.

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