About Us

Reading in the Librarian's Seat

Our Mission

Founded in 1979 by Frank and Betty Wright, Wright to Read provides volunteer-based one-on-one sustained literacy tutoring & mentoring relationships to City of Alexandria elementary school children in need, and collaborates with families, schools and community partners to create a comprehensive support network that guides each child to success.

Our Vision

Every child will have the necessary literacy skills to achieve success in school and in life.


Who do we help?   Wright to Read serves Alexandria City Public School school-aged children who have been referred to us in grades 1-5 because they have tested a minimum of one year below grade level in literacy skills.  Many are two to three grade levels  behind. The children we help face many challenges; nearly all qualify for free or reduced lunch, over 50% are English Language Learners and nearly 25% of our students receive Special Education services. While children enter our program in elementary school, many continue to work with their volunteer in middle and high school.  This year, we aim to serve 100 students.

How do we help? Wright to Read is an out of school time program.  Tutoring is literature-based and capitalizes on the child’s interests to develop a love of reading, along with literacy skills.  Our volunteer tutor/mentors (who are carefully screened, trained and supported by literacy specialists) work 1:1 with their students for a minimum of one year, most stay with their students for three years and some work with their student through middle and high school. One-hour weekly tutoring sessions, typically held in the public library, are just the beginning. Dependable relationships are key to every child’s success.  Our tutor/mentors are cheerleaders, role models, and trusted friends for their students, and we support them in these roles with fun and educational enrichment activities such as our “Readers Take the Stage” recitals, field trips, a winter holiday dinner and end of school year picnic.  When Wright to Read works with a child, we also extend a helping hand to the family. They join our events, and we work with parents 1:1 and in small groups to aid them in navigating the school system and advocating for their child. Some ask us to tutor their other children. Many parents have literacy challenges of their own, and some with poor English language skills cannot read in their home language.

Enrichment Activities To Support Reading

Barbara and Her Student on the Wright To Read Express at the 2014 Picnic
Llama, Llama Home with Mama

Wright to Read has co-hosted an Alexandria Story Festival with Hooray for Books!, which has brought popular authors to town to read from books, and talk to children about reading and writing, We have also partnered with schools on book fairs, as well as  end of school year book swaps to provide summer reading material.

Contact Us

Send us a note and we'll get back to you as soon as possible! Thank you for your interest in Wright To Read.