UPS Volunteers Visit Elementary School To Help Children Read

By Justin Wilfon

(LOUISVILLE, July 20th, 2004, 5:30 p.m.) -- It may only be July, but it was back to school Tuesday for many area school children. They attend seven Jefferson County public schools that operate on a year-round calendar. Some students seemed less than excited, but as WAVE 3's Justin Wilfon reports, students at Roosevelt-Perry elementary were greeted by some friendly faces.

Over 30 volunteers from UPS visited the school. "We've had volunteers out here today to try to bring a warm smile, to help get them a little more comfortable and to help get them directed to where they needed to be," said Dana Nicholson, a UPS volunteer.

It's part of a new volunteer program started by the company for this school year.

Another UPS volunteer, Travis Spalding, said the trip was good for both students and volunteers. "We wanted to get out of the hub, and get out of the package cars, and get out of the offices for a little bit."

UPS is teaming up with Greater Louisville Inc. and JCPS in a new program called "Everyone Reads."

"As part of the community here, UPS felt it's very important for us to be involved as well, so we took an active role in recruiting volunteers to get them placed in schools where there's a need," said Nicholson.

Roosevelt-Perry Principal John Ansman is grateful for the support. "Our school, one of the schools that's been selected, really does, and will take advantage of the opportunities provided from the community volunteers -- UPS and others as well."

Volunteers hope to get most kids reading at their appropriate grade level within the next four years. "Listening to them read, helping with comprehension, will really improve the reading scores of students," Ansman said.

Throughout the school year, the UPS volunteers will visit many schools throughout Jefferson County. Said Nicholson: "As community members, I think we should all get involved in helping our kids succeed."

And there's no better time to start than day one.

Online Reporter: Justin Wilfon

Online Producer: Michael Dever