Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

Virginia Beach, VA has been a member of the Cities of Service coalition since 2009 when Mayor Sessoms signed the Declaration of Service, committing to leveraging resident volunteers as a key city resource. Through the city's robust Office of Volunteer Resources, which was founded in 1978, volunteers engage members of the community in all aspects of city government. Currently, Mayor Sessoms is focusing on moving the needle on education and youth through Virginia Beach READS, the city’s effort to rally the entire community around ensuring that all students can read on or above grade level by third grade.

To learn more about the great work in Virginia Beach, visit their website or follow at @CityofVaBeach.

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Education and Youth

Virginia Beach READS

Virginia Beach READS has been working since 2012 to identify community strengths and needs in the core areas of school readiness, absenteeism, summer learning loss, and grade level reading. Virginia Beach recognizes that citizen engagement and collaboration across multiple government, school, and community partners is key to successfully achieving collective impact on the issue of third grade reading proficiency.

Through Virginia Beach READS, struggling first grade readers in three elementary schools are paired with volunteer tutors. The tutors provide intensive yet fun literacy tutoring sessions twice per week for the entire school year. In partnership with Virginia Beach City Public Schools, volunteer tutors receive extensive training in both effective instructional methods and techniques for increasing student engagement.

"I knew that the tutoring sessions had been not only an educational experience for the children, but also an emotionally enriching one, when I noticed how disappointed they were about the sessions ending in May. Our relationship was a testament to the fact that in the process of helping a child understand the value of reading, the relationships we build with them are crucial. It probably goes without saying, but I learned just as much as the children did."
Keirstin Flythe - Virginia Beach Public Libraries
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