Ritenour Reading Railroad

  • Ritenour Reading Railroad (RRR) is a program with the goal of making sure no child lacks the ability to read. RRR is an intergenerational tutoring program that pairs older adult volunteers with elementary-age children who have difficulty reading. The program creates opportunities for older adults to continue their personal growth and provide meaningful service to the community. RRR volunteers not only read with students, they are encouraged write and talk together as well. Those involved often form priceless friendships and precious memories. Volunteers select the elementary school in which they would like to work. Training, materials and ongoing support are provided by the district.

    The RRR program uses an innovative approach to build children’s self-esteem and positive attitudes toward learning while strengthening reading skills. The approach uses a three-step process: the volunteer talks with the student to identify an experience, he or she writes a short story about the experience and then reads the story with the student. As children see their spoken thoughts put into writing, the written language becomes more personal and meaningful. Training includes instruction in student motivation and communication. Tutors are also taught how to draw on their own experiences and knowledge to enrich the lives of their students.

    Training takes place two times a year – in the early fall and winter – and is provided by the district. RRR volunteers meet at monthly enrichment meetings to share lesson ideas and new activities to use with students.

    To find out more about the program or enroll in training, please call (314) 493-6080.