AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Did you know that 36% of Richmond County children live in poverty? RISE Augusta believes the potential of all children to rise above adversity, stay in school, and achieve their goals in life. RISE stands for Realized Individual Student Success Everyday.

The goal is to create a culture of success and expectation that every student is equipped to reach his or her greatest potential. Literacy is the key to unlocking learning. RISE Augusta‘s foster reading Read With Me program has provided 30 hours of stories by local celebrities.

Laurie Cook is the Executive Director at RISE Augusta.

“People may not realize it, but 70% of the people who live in poverty do not read or read Well. So here we are in the internet age and everybody’s going to, you know, to the web to do everything and apply for jobs. And you’ve got people that really have very low comprehension skills. It’s a big problem. We also do tutoring in schools. We, it’s kind of funny, about 90% of our staff are retired teachers. We tutor kids in certain schools where we’ve been invited to and we meet with those kids two to three times a week for about an hour.

“In poverty again, is just so awful. A lot of these kids start school and they don’t have proper language development and they’re way behind their peers. And they’re not getting the reinforcement at home so oftentimes to be able to break that cycle.”

To Learn more, or to be a volunteer go to their website: www.riseaugusta.org