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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Volunteering helps URI student chart her future

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 27, 1999 -- When Elizabeth Rodrigues saw a flyer for a volunteer program called R.I. Reads last September, she didn,t realize just how much it might change her future. Now, every time this University of Rhode Island sophomore walks through the doors of George J. West Elementary School in Providence as a classroom volunteer, she knows this is just what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

"I began volunteering before I chose my college major, so it has really worked out well in helping me decide what I want to do. I now have a double major in Human Development and Early Education. I just really enjoy helping the kids, said Rodrigues.

Rodrigues, who is from East Providence, contacted the URI branch of R.I. Reads in September after reading the flyer advertising the volunteer program. She received her training and was soon placed in the George J. West school, where she spends a few hours a week in an English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom, helping second and third graders learn to read and write in English.

"I help them build their literary skills so that they can hopefully move out of the ESL program, explained Rodrigues.

According to Shirley Consuegra, URI program director for R.I. Reads, these students couldn,t have a better teacher or role model.

"Elizabeth is great. She has not stopped going since she began last September, even continuing through Christmas break, which most volunteers do not do. She really is the ideal volunteer, said Consuegra.

R.I. Reads is a volunteer program which trains and places high school and college students in high school classrooms across the states, where they have the chance to tutor and share their experiences with other students. The program is part of the Feinstein Center for Service Learning on campus, and so far the program has trained 63 URI students as tutors and has provided over 700 hours of service to students in need.

For More Information: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-2116

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Copyright 1999
University of Rhode Island

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