Started in 2013, Rotary Readers is a signature program and joint literacy project between Aiken Rotary Club and East Aiken School of the Arts. Rotarians and other volunteers work with small groups of students to improve reading skills. Volunteers are assigned to groups of four, and at least one member of each group works with a small group of students (usually four) for thirty minutes each week to improve reading, reading comprehension and vocabulary. This program encourages a love of reading and provides the students with positive role models. Throughout the school year, relationships are built, and volunteers are invited to attend school programs.
At the beginning and end of the school year students are tested and annual program results are presented to the club to monitor the success of the program. Over the seven years, the annual results have been overwhelming positive of the impact of the program on the participants. The program is modified each year to better serve the students and continue to improve results. Over five hundred volunteers have participated over the seven years the program has been in existence.