Faces of Success: Paul Cain
Paul Cain has worked in publishing for corporate partner the Tennessean for 10 years, which has empowered him to spread the gift of reading and literacy. Cain has a special interest in reading with children through United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s Volunteer Reading Days.
“I believe strongly in literacy, and if you give children the gift of reading when they’re young, they will continue reading as they grow older and it will open up new worlds to them.”
Volunteer Reading Days are monthly engagement opportunities for volunteers like Cain to read to students at Read to Succeed Sites. United Way’s Read to Succeed program prepares at-risk children with basic reading readiness skills to prepare them for future educational success. Since 2010, more than 4,300 students have graduated from the program that currently has a 100% success rate in kindergarten preparedness.
Cain remembers his early days in elementary school when his teachers would read aloud to him, and how much of a gift that was. “When I read to the children, they get so happy and you can see their eyes come alive with excitement and they want to actively participate in the story.”
“Research indicates that reading aloud to children presents books as sources of pleasant, valuable and exciting experiences. Children who value books are also increasingly motivated to read on their own” explains Erica Mitchell, sr. director of community impact at United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. These benefits make it easy for Cain to recommend these volunteer opportunities to others.
“It takes so little of our time to contribute to the well-being of our children. If they learn to read now, their interest in reading and literacy will only grow with time. The future is these kids, and if you give them the gift of reading when they’re young, they’ll be able to enjoy the rest of their lives.”
Cain hopes that sharing his experiences with Volunteer Reading Days encourages others to get involved.
“Going to Volunteer Reading Days is so rewarding and I get so much back. This experience stays with the children for days or weeks, and if they are interested in reading it could stay with them for a lifetime. I encourage everyone to come out and read to these children.”
Volunteering with United Way doesn’t require a large time commitment; Cain’s experience only required one hour of his time. For more information on United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s volunteer opportunities, please click here.