Vello - Volunteers Helping Young Readers

Reading on grade level by 3rd grade is a strong indicator of future success. Until 3rd grade, children are learning to read, but from 4th grade on students are reading to learn.

Some students at Del Castillo Elementary School have struggled with reading on grade level, but thanks to an innovative partnership among United Way of Southern Cameron County, Wells Fargo Bank, and Brownsville Public Utilities Board, second graders at Del Castillo Elementary are getting the help they need with their reading through United Way's Vello program.

Vello consists of 1:1 tutoring, Learning A-Z's blended learning platform with over 50,000 digital literacy resources, and the Vello portal for training and scheduling. Vello supports the entire classroom with an expansive e-library, teacher instructional materials, and 1:1 support from tutors. Our volunteers build transformational relationships and work as a team to ensure all students reach reading proficiency.

Vello volunteer use a screen sharing system to connect with the classroom, and they read with their Vello students without ever leaving the workplace. 89% of students said that reading with a Vello volunteer made them feel a lot more excited about learning. 100% of teachers agreed or strongly agreed that Vello improved the reading skills of tutored students.