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Volunteers needed for new reading coach program at Osage Middle School

Osage, Iowa

OSAGE – The difference between earning a diploma and dropping out is often linked to reading proficiency. Multiple studies show that students who cannot read proficiently are four times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are skilled readers. One key to helping these students master reading is to provide extra, one-on-one attention.

The RSVP Reading Coach program is a middle school literacy program that helps students improve their reading fluency and comprehension as well as garner a greater appreciation for reading overall. Proficient readers find more confidence in all school subjects which in turn reduces their risk of dropping out. Middle School is often the last chance struggling readers have to improve their skills so extra attention from a caring adult can be one way to help them find success.

This year, Osage Middle School is partnering with RSVP of North Central Iowa to establish a Reading Coach program in fifth and sixth grades. Volunteers, 55 and older, will work with students to improve fluency, comprehension, and confidence in reading. “We are thrilled to be partnering with RSVP and starting a Reading Coach program, said Meaghan Johnson, English Teacher and Instructional Coach, “The impact a caring and older adult can have on adolescents is incredible.”

After enrolling, volunteers are trained and receive resources to help orient them to working with students, however, the greatest ‘talent’ a volunteer needs is a passion to help and an encouraging and listening ear. It only takes one hour per week to have a positive and lasting impact on a young person.

If you think you would be a great fit as a Reading Coach, please call RSVP Volunteer Coordinator, Alison Mason at (888) 466-4222 ext. 4255, or email

NIACC campus

For information on RSVP of North Central Iowa, visit or contact 1-888-466-4222 ext. 4256, (641) 422-4256 or RSVP of North Central Iowa serves the counties of Cerro Gordo, Hancock, Winnebago, and Worth responding to priority community needs by providing meaningful, purposeful volunteer opportunities for people ages 55 and over. RSVP is sponsored by North Iowa Area Community College and is partly funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service, State of Iowa, United Way of North Central Iowa, and local county governments.

North Iowa Area Community College, founded in 1918, is a nationally-recognized, two-year college located in central North Iowa. With approximately 3,000 career and transfer students, the College has been recognized by the Aspen Institute as a leading community college in the nation. NIACC welcomes students from across Iowa, Minnesota, the nation, and the world.

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