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muddy’s community partners: street’s ministries ready readers program

Thanks to East Memphis shop manager Annabeth for this awesome guest post! While it was written over the summer, we thought now--as school is starting back and new Muddy's gnomies are getting geared up to volunteer with Streets Ministries for another year--would be an awesome time to share it with you.

As a part of our Community Partners program, Muddy's gnomies spend an hour a week with the student that
Streets Ministries pairs them with through their Ready Readers program. Our Community Partners
program prides itself on consistent, longterm, relationship-based impact. As school for the year has
wrapped up, several of Muddy’s gnomes are celebrating their time spent with their students in helping
them learn to read. While all of our gnomies were placed in Kingsbury Elementary, they all were paired
with different students and teachers. I was intrigued to find out why each gnome chose Ready Reader’s
and what their favorite part of volunteering with their students.

Bridget, Kitchen and Production Manager since Oct '14
pictured below, left with post author Annabeth

Throughout my younger school years, I struggled with reading. However after being diagnosed with
dyslexia, I was able to learn how to read. It was helpful to be given resources at an early age that
impacted the rest of my education. I wanted to be a part of seeing real progress with the same child
over the course of a year. My favorite part of working with Ready Readers was when the kids return after winter break, they were both so excited and happy to get back to our weekly time. They wanted to show me how well they remembered their sight words and reading the new books I would bring in!

Sky, Customer Service Gnomie since Dec '14
Sky has since this interview left us to embark on the next exciting chapter of her life. We miss her face!

I really wanted to be a part of the Muddy’s community program to be more impactful in the Memphis
community and chose Ready Readers because they were able to work around my busy schedule (I’m a
student and work full-time). I absolutely loved the class and teacher, Ms. Flowers, who I was paired
with. I met with the same student every week to help her with reading comprehension, and it was so fun
every time. I was so excited that I could tell a huge improvement in my student from when we started
until the last week. I am so thankful that my workplace offers this program and opportunity to every
gnomie!

Renee, Customer Service Gnomie since May '16

I chose Ready Readers because the idea of working with kids one-on-one seemed less intimidating to me
than working with a group of young children. I hoped to inspire young students to enjoy and value their
education by encouraging and helping them while they learn to read. My favorite moment volunteering
is the time a teacher requested me to help a student practice for a big math test instead of doing our
usual reading and flashcard routine. Since math is my favorite subject, I was really excited to help this
student with learning addition. I shared some techniques that I still use as an adult, and she caught on so
fast! Being able to teach her one thing made the whole volunteer experience worth it!

Click to learn more about Streets Ministries or about the Muddy’s Community Partners Program.

Posted by Janine Smith at 9:00 AM

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