Got 30 minutes? Use it to help kids in our community sharpen their reading skills. VELLO®, Valley of the Sun United Way’s online tutoring program, pairs professionals with students to provide 1-on-1 tutoring sessions. It is all digital, so you don’t even have to leave your home or office.
“If you have a computer, you have the ability to volunteer and make a difference in a child’s life.” – Amanda T., Valley of the Sun United Way/VELLO Tutor
Local companies sponsor a classroom and form a team of tutors. VELLO uses a digital portal to then pair those tutors with students. The volunteer and child share a screen and read an e-book together. The two can hear each other, but can’t see each other.
Teachers will post schedules on the VELLO portal, where tutors can sign up. The reading sessions are 30-minutes long. Volunteers have to commit to just one session a week. That session can be done anywhere, all you need is internet access. The assigned students will join from a computer inside their classroom, which VELLO provides.
VELLO is safe and secure. As a tutor, you will go through a background check and training.
“Meeting with a student for 30-minutes once a week is one of the most rewarding parts of my week, and is so easy to fit into my schedule in-between meetings.” – Twyla M., Valley of the Sun United Way/VELLO Tutor
Reading is the key to success. It helps strengthens vocabulary, comprehension, encourages imagination and improves confidence. All of those things create more possibilities for students to succeed.
Studies show, children who are proficient in reading do better in school and are more likely to graduate.
• Kids who aren’t strong readers by 3rd grade are 4 times more likely to drop out of school (Source: The National Education Association)
• 1 out of 4 children in America grow up without learning to read (Source: The National Education Association)
• Students that read an extra 20-minutes per day will hear 1.8 million words per year. They will have read for 851 hours by 6th grade and on standardized tests, they will likely score better than 90% of their peers. ( Source: Dubuque Campaign for Grade Level Reading)
“My favorite part of being a VELLO tutor is when you offer some coaching and the child applies it and you can hear their confidence build as they are gaining a new skill, often in the same session.” – Amanda T., Valley of the Sun United Way/VELLO Tutor
Volunteering with VELLO is a great way for businesses to work as a team and empower their employees.
• 40% of volunteers agreed or strongly agreed that VELLO gave them a sense of team spirit at the workplace
• 80% of volunteers agreed or strongly agreed that VELLO was a meaningful use of their time
• 82% of volunteers agreed or strongly agreed VELLO helped them make a positive impact on a child
“The VELLO program has provided me with many special VELLO moments. During one session with a 2nd grader, we were in the middle of her book and I complimented her on the way she read a sentence that ended in an exclamation point. She quickly said to me “I’ll be right back,” and I could hear through the headphones that she had gone over to her teacher to tell her about the compliment. I could hear how excited she was to share that with her teacher.” – Twyla M., Valley of the Sun United Way/VELLO Tutor
“If you think about the number of 30-minute increments that occur throughout the day, why not devote one of those increments to a deserving child. Grab a cup of tea, log on and make it a part of your weekly routine and I promise, you will fall in love with serving your community in such a meaningful way.” – Amanda T., Valley of the Sun United Way/VELLO Tutor
Valley of the Sun United Way is committed to creating Mighty Change in Maricopa County. By 2026, we plan to increase 3rd grade reading proficiency by 25%. Read more about our MC2026 goals.
© Copyright 2021. VELLO. All Rights Reserved. VELLO® is a registered trademark of Valley of the Sun United Way. Used under license. Any reference to third party trademarks are for reference or promotional purposes only and Learn United LLC makes no representation of ownership of these marks.