It’s a cloudy Tuesday evening and six volunteers with the Yolo Reads tutoring program are escorted past locked metal doors into an empty classroom inside the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility in Woodland. A group of incarcerated teens wearing brown shirts and hopeful expressions are led in and paired up with the tutors. Some show up to complete their homework or prepare for the GED exam, while others practice their English language skills in reading groups. Patricia Sanchez works one-on-one with a young man eager to improve his math skills. She shows him how to figure out percentages on paper while he works from a calculator. The Yolo County Library partnered with the Yolo County Probation Department in 2009 and, every Tuesday evening, volunteers come to tutor anyone who wants the help. “I think what motivates us to come week after week is to see that they genuinely do want to learn,” says Sanchez, who has been tutoring there for the past 10 months. “After a few sessions, their confidence just grows. I think that is the most rewarding part of it.” Contact Yolo Reads at (530) 666-8019 or email LibraryVolunteer@yolocounty.org.
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PHOTOGRAPHER’S BLOG: Additional photographs and story. blogs.sacbee.com/exposures
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