Mike Schiavoni maintains there
is “something magical” about
the Repeated Reading program
at Woodbury. “It’s very effective
and rewarding,” he says. Up to
20 volunteers are needed for the
program each year.
Pat Rashid train up to 20 volunteers
each year to work one-on-one with
fifth- and sixth-graders to improve
their reading fluency. Students read the
same passage aloud with a volunteer
three times in one week, as the adult
checks their progress and coaches them
“Our volunteers are wonderful,
selfless, and earnest workers who go
above and beyond just reading with our
students,” says Griffin. The volunteers
often make deeper connections with
those students, who look forward to
their arrival each week.
Two who have particularly enjoyed
making those connections are Mike
Schiavoni and Pamela Watts, both of
whom are retired human resources
executives and parents of former Shaker
students. Schiavoni, whose grandson
attends Onaway School, enjoyed
volunteering so much that he recruited
several fellow Plymouth Church
members to the program.
“I describe this program as a winwin
win,” says Schiavoni. “It's a win
for the students who improve their
reading skills, it helps the teachers by
supplementing their efforts, and it’s
rewarding for the volunteers.” He plans
to re-enlist this coming year.
Says Watts, “I’m a people person,
so I like the one-on-one contact with
the kids and seeing their growth. Their
skills, confidence and self-esteem
are improved so much through this
program.” She loves working with the
Photo by Angelo Merendino
same small group of students each week, and has requested to work with them again
next year if possible.
When Keith Langford learned about Watts’ background as a human resources
manager at Nestlé, he found yet another way to put her talents to work: conducting
mock interviews with students at the High School’s Innovative Center.
“I helped the students with some of the basics of job interviewing,” says Watts.
“It starts with hello, proper attire, demeanor, body language, and posture,” says Watts,
who likely interviewed thousands of employees during her 30 years with Nestlé.
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