Through KyLee's membership with this committee, she had the chance to team up with United Way and a local elementary school to create an ongoing volunteer program at Alcoa DPW. For this program, known as Read with Me, nine Alcoa employees visit the elementary school every week to read one-on-one with their reading buddy. After only three months of the program, the students had an average increase of 18 words per minute. After only eight months of the program, 75% of students had 1 to 1.5 years growth in fluency. Read with Me went on to win a local and regional award for Alcoa in the Community category.
The success of this program later sparked an initiative in the Quad Cities known as Reading for Tomorrow. Reading for Tomorrow has an ultimate goal of increasing the number of high school graduates in the Quad Cities Area through advanced reading comprehension. This will be done by creating a program similar to Read with Me at other local companies and nearby elementary schools.
To increase participation for Read with Me and bring the entire plant together through volunteerism, KyLee created a Volunteer Committee at Alcoa DPW in May 2015. The purpose of the committee is to promote volunteerism, present community service opportunities, and provide information about company sponsored events and grants. Since its creation, applications for Alcoa sponsored grants have increased and DPW has had its most successful United Way Day of Caring yet with over 50 volunteers. She recently submitted the Volunteer Committee for a global Alcoa award known as the Impact Awards in hopes of starting Volunteer Committees at other Alcoa locations. Announcement of project finalists will be in January 2016 and awards will be presented in March 2016.
It doesn't end there.. along with Read with Me and the Volunteer Committee, KyLee is working with DPW upper management to create a Volunteer Philosophy that will allow hourly and salary employees to volunteer during working hours. A lengthy and challenging process that she hopes to spread to all Alcoa locations in the future.
In addition to her professional volunteerism projects, KyLee has participated in multiple personal volunteer opportunities since graduation. In 2014, KyLee volunteered a total of 90 hours over the course of nine months. Since the start of 2015, she has volunteered over 110 hours. This personal volunteerism includes membership on a Junior Board for Boys & Girls Club, teaching Junior Achievement to a third grade class, participation in Alcoa sponsored events, and taking her Therapy Dog, J.R., to a local elementary school, nursing home, and children's halfway house.
KyLee owes her success to her experience in Lambda Sigma Pi and her own passion for volunteerism. She hopes this motivates the current members and alum of LSP to get out in their community and make a difference! She welcomes any Lambda Sig to contact her if they are interested in starting a volunteer program at their company or have questions about her personal volunteerism experience.