Elementary School: Wright to Read

Frank and Betty Wright created Wright to Read (WTR) in 1979 to “give the gift of literacy” to Alexandria’s children. Wright to Read recruits, trains, and supports volunteer tutors and mentors who work with elementary school students on reading. Volunteer tutor/mentors are matched with Alexandria City Public School students who are identified by their teachers as needing help with reading. Our tutor/mentors work with students in the public libraries, primarily.

Why Get Involved with Wright to Read?

  • WTR works with Alexandria City Public School students, beginning in grades 1-5, who are at least one year behind their grade level in literacy skills. Many are 2-3 years behind. In addition, nearly all are low income, the majority are English Language Learners, and many receive Special Education services. We perform a baseline test of our students’ literacy skills and a follow-up after several months of tutoring, and we are proud to report that 90% of our students made significant gains.
  • WTR staff rigorously screen, train, and coach volunteers, match them 1:1 with a student, and ask them to work with their students for at least one year. Many tutor/mentors continue to work with their student for two to three years. Some continue through middle and high school. While tutor/mentor volunteers join us to help a child in need, they all say that their involvement has enriched their own lives beyond their expectations.
  • WTR is a year-round, out of school time program. Because our tutor/mentors work with their students after school and on the weekends, there’s no loss in valuable classroom time, and year-round activities help to prevent summer learning loss.
  • WTR is literature-based. We purchase just the right books for our students–books that are enjoyable and appropriate in content at each reading level. This is key to helping struggling readers. Tutor/Mentors and their students also meet in the rich environment of the Alexandria Library. After a tutor/mentor and student work on a book together, the student may add the book to their home library.
  • WTR is also a mentoring program. Tutor/mentors become role models, cheerleaders, and trusted friends who build a student’s confidence.

Are you ready to become a Wright to Read Tutor/Mentor?

Thank you for your interest in Wright to Read! If you are interested in becoming a tutor/mentor and being matched with a student either this Fall 2021 or Spring 2022, please contact us at

Please note that we ask WTR volunteers to work with students for at least one year, including the summer. Many of our volunteers have worked with a student for several years. For a student, beginning a new year is easier when he/she has the confidence that comes from having a dedicated tutor and mentor. Please also note that background screening can take up to two months, if not longer.

If you have any questions please contact