Volunteer Tutor Profile: Susan Kelso’s Journey of Enriching Young Readers

By Eric Steckel | June 20, 2024

A Story of Dedication, Joy, and Impact in Children Rising’s Succeeding by Reading Program
Susan Kelso feels a sense of dedication, joy, and impact as a Succeeding by Reading tutor.

Susan Kelso, a volunteer tutor in Succeeding by Reading, feels a sense of dedication, joy, and impact as a.

Susan Kelso is an enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer tutor in Succeeding by Reading with a wealth of experience and love for the kids. She retired in 2008 after a long career as a kindergarten and first-grade teacher. Reflecting on her journey, Susan said, “When I retired, I knew I wanted to keep teaching, especially reading. It’s the cornerstone of learning, and I wanted to instill that love for reading early on.”

Susan joined Children Rising after a year away from the kids. She now shares her passion for nurturing children’s confidence and unlocking their potential through one-on-one tutoring, which she relishes. “The sooner you can help them if they’re struggling, the better because otherwise they just get more frustrated, losing self-confidence. So that’s part of the tutoring, helping them gain self-confidence and wanting to learn how to read. For many kids, all they’ve had is frustration,” she explained.

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Remarking on the breakthrough moments in tutoring, “All of a sudden, it’s like a light switch is turned on. When children learn how to read, it’s often, bam!” she exclaimed. “The children get much more excited and begin to love reading.”

She smiled when asked about the two girls she tutored this year. “I had one first-grader named Patience and another second-grader named Avelina, and they were both a lot of fun to tutor. Patience had an older sister who was a teenager, so she noticed every bit of makeup. Well, she said to me, ‘I don’t know about your lipstick. I think you better wear a pink lipstick.’” she said with a laugh.

Your support of Children Rising tutors transforms the lives of young learners, one tutoring session at a time.

Your support of Children Rising tutors transforms the lives of young learners, one tutoring session at a time.

Her commitment and consistency shine through. She believes the children need a reliable person in their lives and sees the impact it has on them and her. “Even during difficult times, I knew the kids were counting on me. It made me not think about things as much when I was there because I was too busy and focused on the tutoring. That responsibility kept me going.”

Susan emphasizes the importance of structure and support within the program, noting, “Children Rising provides a wealth of resources and a structured approach that makes tutoring effective and rewarding.”

She enjoys tutoring and admires Children Rising’s inclusive approach to tutoring. She encourages individuals from all walks of life to tutor a child or two! “That’s one reason I tutor. I want children to love reading, enjoy it, and not just see it as drudgery,” she affirms. “You don’t have to be a teacher to make a difference. Anyone with a heart for helping children can become a tutor.”

With Susan’s dedication and uplifting spirit, Children Rising continues to transform the lives of young learners, one tutoring session at a time.

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