Edwin is in third grade and loves to read books, especially books about dinosaurs.

Each week, Edwin meets one-on-one with his United Way Reading Success Tutor, Gary. Today, Edwin begins by shaking Gary’s hand. Edwin reads to Gary and excitedly describes how the dinosaurs in his book lived and survived. They laugh together imagining what would happen if the dinosaurs were alive today.


Things were very different when Edwin first started the Reading Success program. Edwin’s teacher, Ms. Cabrera, selected Edwin for the program because of his delay in reading skills and a lack in self confidence. Gary says, at first, Edwin was very shy. “He spoke extremely softly when he talked and read. It was hard for him to make eye contact and his handshake was very weak.” Gary decided he needed to develop a good rapport with Edwin to help him feel comfortable during the tutoring sessions. So, each week, Gary started with a new joke to get Edwin to laugh and bring him “out of his shell.”

“My goal was to build up Edwin’s confidence and have him realize that he could become an excellent reader.”

Today, Edwin’s speaking and reading skills have improved remarkably. Edwin’s teacher says that he is able to better understand materials he used to struggle to read. “I have seen improvements not only in reading skills but in his English as well; which makes him more social and less afraid to speak to others.” Each accomplishment helps Edwin believe in his potential.

Edwin smiles when he talks about his future. “When I grow up, I want to be a policeman!”

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