Reading Tutor Tips for Building Literacy and Philanthropy

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3
building relationships
Fiction Literature
This guide will provide tips for making your time reading aloud with a child more meaningful and effective.


Thank you for sharing your time and talent to build literacy in the community. Your time spent reading with a child has many benefits.

  • Provides one-on-one support in a caring environment that promotes learning.
  • Encourages more time on task attending to words and ideas.
  • Develops social-emotional skills as you talk and model kindness and caring for community.
  • Demonstrates a love of reading and teaches that books are a source of new learning and new worlds.
  • Opens empowering conversations about ways we can each give our time and talent to grow a stronger community – We all have something to give.

These Learning to Give literature guides help you introduce quality literature while discussing themes of giving, generosity, and simple ways we take care of our communities.

  • Ask the before, during, and after questions in the method of “open-ended” questioning. This opens up more critical thinking and decreases yes/no responses.
  • Using open-ended questions expands the reader-tutor relationship to get to know one another. The reader knows you care about what he or she thinks.
  • Try not to judge the reader’s answers or lead the discussion to a “right” answer.
  • The suggested activities may spark an idea for the child to do with their family or classroom. Talk about these ideas and provide support, as possible, in the tutor setting.

Reading Tips

  1. Before you meet with the child, read through the whole book and the literature guide so you know what to expect.
  2. Sit down next to the child and hold the book together. Enjoy the process. Before you read, slow down, talk about the book cover, glance through the pages, and wonder aloud with the child about the book content and message. Relate the content to your and the child’s experience.
  3. Use the literature guide questions to stay engaged with the content and the child.
  4. Depending on the reading skill of the child, you may read aloud the whole book or take turns reading. If the child is a struggling reader, read aloud the whole book first to enjoy its language, rhythm, and story.
  5. Then read it a second time together. Trace under the words with your finger as you read.
  6. Talk about phonetic clues, sentence context, and picture clues to read new words.
  7. Involve the child as much as possible in turning pages, tracing words, filling in words to finish sentences.

The literature guide has a focus on giving and community. Help the reader understand that he or she has time and ability to act for the good of all. What we each gives is important to making a better community and world.