September 27, 2023
Annapolis, US 60 F

Start The Adventure In Reading (STAIR)-Annapolis Celebrates Graduations

Twelve schools in Anne Arundel County graduated 96 students from STAIR (Start The Adventure In Reading) this May. STAIR, a non-profit that matches volunteer tutors with second graders striving to improve their reading skills, provides one-on-one reading intervention in a loving, supportive environment. At this year’s celebrations, parents and teachers raved about the growth they saw in students’ pride, confidence, and communication skills as each child read to the audience and received their certificate of completion.

“We are blown away by the confidence and skill our son has learned with his reading.  At the beginning of the year, we were asking to have him monitored for dyslexia because of how much he was struggling, and now he is confidently reading every bit of writing he comes across. We are a family of passionate readers, and we are so happy that our kiddo has joined us in that.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!” said a parent from Germantown Elementary School.

Building relationships between students and tutors is at the heart of what STAIR does. Each child works with the same tutor every week and receives caring, undivided attention during the entire hour-long session. They read together, play word games, complete writing exercises, and practice basic literacy skills like phonics and vocabulary. The bonds formed in these sessions benefit both student and tutor in real and lasting ways.

Executive Director Jo Ann Mattson says, “At STAIR-Annapolis, we have three simple goals: to increase the reading level of second graders reading below grade level, to improve each student’s sense of self-esteem and self-confidence, and to provide a nurturing environment where reading is FUN! Our students love coming to STAIR. They race in after school, excited to spend the next hour with their tutors, and our tutors are just as excited to see their students.”

Mattson goes on to say, “While some students do struggle to read, studies show that those children CAN learn to read; they just may need some extra help. By working one-on-one with them in a relaxed setting where children feel empowered and encouraged to have fun, STAIR provides the tools and support children need to succeed in any area they choose, paving the way for them to have more confidence and opportunity to be leaders and innovators in our communities.”

If you are interested in volunteering for STAIR in the 2023-2024 school year, they are always looking for tutors and site coordinators!! STAIR will hold orientations during the summer months, where you can learn more. Please visit and follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and updates. 

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