Conquering Fears

When Abby began volunteering as a United Way ReadUP tutor, she was partnered with Aries. “My first day I was very, very nervous and unsure of what to expect,” Abby admitted. But Aries’ lively and funny personality quickly put her to ease. Abby couldn’t wait to get to started.

Watch the video

One the first things Abby noticed was Aries’ fear of chapter books. The long books housed some big words and often felt overwhelming to Aries. She didn’t know if she could read them – much less finish them – so she would often avoid them completely. Abby wanted to help Aries conquer her fear, and she convinced her to just start reading a little bit out of “Clementine” by Sara Pennypacker.

As Aries continued to read “Clementine,” her confidence in herself improved and her eyes began lighting up with every page turned. It was a familiar look to Abby. “It reminded me of my own childhood and finding an author I really liked,” Abby said. “That’s what spurred me to read more, and I started to really enjoy it. It was so great seeing the same thing happen to Aries.”

When Aries finished the book, Abby couldn’t have been more proud. “It was great being able to come in each week and see how much she had grown,” Abby said. “I am so thankful to have been able to witness all that she accomplished and conquered.” And now, Aries is ready to start on the second book of the series!

Because of Abby’s dedication and strong ReadUP programming, Aries’ test scores have improved drastically, she is on track with grade-level literacy and she has a newfound love for reading! The program has proven benefits for students, both academically and personally. But, for volunteers like Abby, the impact can be equally as meaningful for the tutor.

If you’re interested in being a ReadUP tutor like Abby
sign up today at!

Note: United Way fights for the education, financial stability, health and basic needs of everyone in our community. ReadUP is a United Way program addressing one or more of these priorities by enlisting volunteer tutors to help struggling 3rd graders get on track – and stay on track – with grade-level literacy.