Residents who know a middle or high school student who is having difficulty reading their assigned novels or texts can refer them to a new program that can help.
Recorded Recreational Reading for the Blind, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Peoria since 1972, is expanding its mission to include recording assigned English literature for middle and high school students who struggle to keep up with the more advanced reading required in English lit classes.
Historically, RRRB has recorded news articles, books and magazines for adult Arizonans who are blind, have low vision or a physical handicap that prevents access to reading print information. The “West Valley Talking News” can be heard on the agency’s website, readingfortheblind.org.
To obtain an audio recording of a text or novel for struggling readers, teachers or parents can contact RRRB at 623-933-0985 and provide a copy of the requested book. The volunteers at the studio will record the book. The book will be returned or picked up, and the audio files will be sent, either by email or flash drive, directly to the parent or student. It would be best to give as much advance notice of upcoming titles so the recordings can be ready when needed.
According to RRRB Board Member, volunteer reader, and retired teacher, Linda Furman, “This program does not interfere with or replace the teaching of reading. It’s not aimed at those early grades,” said Linda Furman, RRRB board member, volunteer and retired teacher. “It gives older children and teenagers with reading challenges a chance to keep up with their classmates, and fully participate in class discussions. It allows them to experience all of the material in their language arts curriculum and learn the literature analysis skills taught in English lit.”
The Arizona Department of Education Dyslexia Handbook lists audiobooks as an approved technology for struggling readers.
RRRB provides services at no cost to Arizonans with reading and vision difficulties. Although they are affiliated with the Arizona Talking Book Library and the National Library Service, RRRB relies solely on donations, similar to public television.
Visit the website, readingfortheblind.org, or call 623-933-0985 for more information about the organization’s programs, to volunteer or to make a donation.