January 11, 2016
Volunteering as "Book Buddies" at Seymour Dual Language Academy
Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, KS&R fosters and supports employee volunteerism to help meet the needs of the community and local and national charities.
It's only an hour a week, but for the dozen or so KS&R employees who volunteer as part of "Book Buddies" at Seymour Academy, it's an opportunity to make a real difference in the life of a child. The program teams adult volunteers with first and second grade students for one-on-one reading time to help these children build critical reading skills – and inspire them to learn and succeed.
Book Buddies was established in 2014 as a partnership between Syracuse 20/20 and the Near Westside Initiative. It is a community-initiated response to a big need in the Syracuse City Schools of having all children read on grade level by the third grade. Research clearly identifies the third grade as a pivotal year – it is the time when children need to be transitioning from learning to read, to reading to learn. Some children need practice to become proficient, or have language or vocabulary deficits; others come from families that do not read or speak English routinely. Based on the Seymour Academy teachers' feedback, the students in the Book Buddies program have significantly improved in both reading skills and reading confidence.
Mike Nash, KS&R Principal, is leading KS&R's volunteer efforts in supporting Book Buddies for the second year. "Book Buddies is a really rewarding program. You can see the students move up levels, and it's great to see real results. These are our future employees and future citizens – we need to make sure they are prepared and ready!"
Founded in 1983, KS&R (Knowledge Systems & Research, Inc.) is a full-service, privately held market research firm. With annual revenues of $25 million, KS&R ranks among the top 50 market research firms in the U.S. KS&R creates and executes global custom market research initiatives for some of the best-known corporations in the world in more than 100 countries and 50 languages. KS&R is headquartered in Syracuse, New York, with offices in metro New York, Memphis, Seattle, and Frankfurt, Germany.