Our YRead program helps children and teens gain confidence and increase their reading comprehension and word recognition skills. The program provides one-on-one literacy tutoring to those who are at least one grade level behind in reading. Our supportive volunteer tutors nurture the potential of youth in our community through the support of Y staff, training, and provided literacy materials. Students typically meet once or twice weekly with their tutors at a local library. 

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Students who are enrolled in YRead grow, on average, 2-grade levels in both comprehension and word recognition in a year.

Potential students will meet with one of our staff members as part of the registration process. This appointment usually lasts about 1 hour and will include a discussion on the student's goals, availability, and a reading assessment. To schedule an appointment contact Michelle Peeler, michelle.peeler@gwrymca.org or 314-421-8908

Sign up for tutoring

We partner with libraries in the bi-state region to provide this program at convenient locations throughout the community. Students and tutors can also meet at a YMCA location near them.

Our youth students meet with their tutors 1-2 hours twice a week for a year at a library that is convenient for them. The tutor and student cover the essential components of literacy: phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.

Is there a cost to this program?
This is a free program for youth struggling with reading skills. 

Do I have to be a YMCA member to participate in this program?
No. This program is a free program we offer to our community regardless of YMCA membership. 

Is my preK or Kindergarten student eligible?
Most students learn to read by 6 or 7 years old, that's why we begin to offer our program to students at the end of 1st grade. We recommend these tips to help younger readers:

  • Read to your child daily for at least 15 minutes
    • Stop and ask questions while you are reading
  • Point out letters and words while out in public 
    • Focus on letter sounds, this can be more important than letter names
  • Be a reading example, let your child see you read daily
  • Play games - rhyming, sight words, etc... Make it fun!