AWESOME: Local Residents Finds Help and Learns to Read in Murfreesboro

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He heard about the reading program on WGNS and decided to give it a try.

JoJo came to Read To Succeed reading at a 1st grade reading level. He’d graduated from high school with a Certificate of Attendance, being unable to read well enough to pass mainstream classes and exams. He heard about the reading program on WGNS and decided to give it a try.

Read To Succeed offers one-on-one adult literacy tutoring to anyone 18 or over who lives or works in Rutherford County. Read To Succeed serves many learners; elderly learners that just want to enjoy a good book, young learners that did not complete high school and are now earning a high school equivalency, learners that only want to be able to read the baseball scores in the newspaper. It doesn’t matter what the goal is, we’ll help people get there.

Read To Succeed uses trained volunteer tutors to help meet these goals. Tutors are also very diverse. They might be retired, working, or stay at home parents, but they all give of their time to help someone reach a literacy goal. It can be a difficult process, but it’s so rewarding.


JoJo was placed with a tutor and Read To Succeed hoped that he would make progress. Everyone learns and improves at different rates, so it’s hard to judge how quickly someone might be able to reach their goal. JoJo’s goal was pretty simple. He just wanted to be able to read simple books.

Read To Succeed provides materials to tutors and they prepare lessons, but JoJo had purchased a series of books on-line that he felt would be helpful for him. He’d gone to the library every week to get a stack of books to read with his tutor. He’d made flash cards. JoJo was determined.


Shelly Stanley wrote in a press release, "When I sat down with JoJo and his tutor a few weeks ago, his tutor presented a beautiful certificate that stated that JoJo had read 146 books this year." He said, “I like to read. It’s fun”. His tutor proudly showed me his practice sentences and the progress that he had made, “His sentences are getting longer and more creative. I can tell that he’s reading a lot because he uses it in his sentences.”

“He comes every week”, she says, “JoJo is very dedicated”. JoJo said, “I like meeting here. Learning to read helps. It’s a good goal to learn to read”.

If that weren’t enough, JoJo also is very active at Greenhouse Ministries. It’s where he meets with his tutor. Cliff Sharp, Executive Director, states “If everyone worked as hard as JoJo the reading of our county would rise.  I do not think we ever had a more dedicated person who wanted to learn to read.  When he realized that recognizing symbols like Coke or Pepsi was reading it was a great day for him!” JoJo has volunteered several times at Greenhouse but since improving his reading skills, he’s gotten a job. JoJo is currently reading around a 4th grade level. He’s still working diligently with his tutor and continues to improve.

Volunteer in Ruthrford County to Help Others Like JoJo:

If you’re interested in tutoring someone like JoJo, come to our upcoming tutor training on February 3rd and 10th from 6:00-8:00 pm at the Lon Nuell Literacy Center in First Baptist Church (200 East Main Street, Murfreesboro). It is 2 sessions (for a total of 4 hours) to complete the training. Please RSVP if you plan to attend, or if you have other questions, contact Shelly Stanley, Adult Literacy Coordinator, or 615-738-7323. 

More information may be viewed at
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Greenhouse, how to read, JoJo, learn to read, Murfreesboro, Murfreesboro news, read, Read To Succeed, Reading, Rutherford County
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