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Editorial: Tutoring efforts fill NM gap

Reading is essential to learning other subjects and to success in life. But with just 49 percent of New Mexico students reading at grade level or better in 2014, there’s a serious malingering hurdle blocking their chances for success.

So a debt of gratitude is owed to two programs that are helping New Mexico children by offering free tutoring.

Albuquerque Reads, started in 2003 by Albuquerque Public Schools and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, is hoping to attract enough volunteer tutors this year to help about 250 kindergartners learn to read. So far, the program has been available in just three APS schools.

Pat Dee, a U.S. Bank executive and member of the Albuquerque Reads committee for the chamber, says the efforts of volunteers have helped children progress from not knowing the alphabet to reading on their own by the end of the school year. Given its success, APS should consider replicating Albuquerque Reads in more of its schools and measure the progress.

If you are willing to commit to helping an hour each week, training will be Sept. 11 and 18. See www.abqreads.com.

Meanwhile, the state-sponsored Brainfuse program offers students of all ages and parents free help with homework, tests and essays online, among services.

The program is run primarily through the state’s libraries, but it can be accessed through any computer as long as the user has access to a library card. Visit www.brainfuse.com or www.nmstatelibrary.org.

All of the state’s public school systems should examine these amazing efforts and attempt to replicate their successes and spread them as far and wide as possible. New Mexico students need every chance at success.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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