Oscar's Story

The notion of childhood has changed greatly over the past number of years. In the past, children would spend hours outside after school, exploring, learning, and building friendships. Today, it seems that so many kids are preoccupied – their heads buried in their phones. Rather than exploring the great outdoors, they spend their time lost in the fantasy world of video games.

All of these distractions can have a long-lasting effect.

“I kinda didn’t get all the words right,” said seven year old Oscar.

Oscar is a member of The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, and for nearly two years he struggled with reading and comprehension. The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs are focused on the development of young people across six domains: Character and Leadership; Health and Life; Spiritual Development; The Arts; Sports, Fitness, and Recreation; and, Education and Career. Knowing how critical reading is to all educational pursuits, Oscar’s club offered a tutoring program designed to help club members just like him.

The program director at the club beams when talking about Oscar. “In 2013, when Oscar began going to tutoring he increased his reading scores from 55 to 78 percent in 16 weeks!”

At the end of 2014, Oscar tested out of the reading program with a 96 percent on his last reading test.

“I always liked reading and math, but now that I understand the words better my grades in school are better. When we started reading Monkey Heart, one of my favorite books, I almost read the words wrong. Until I remembered what I had been taught by my reading tutor,” said Oscar.

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs exists to help young people to realize their full potential. The clubs provide a safe place for members to learn and grow, to have life-enhancing experiences, and to have daily opportunities to explore their relationship with Jesus Christ. At the Boys & Girls Club, Oscar received far more than simply the ability to read. He received hope.

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