Ken Clinton has had a life-long love affair with reading.
"As a child, I think reading about different people and, you know, different aspects of history really opened up my world," he says.
After working as an English teacher in Yonkers and Brooklyn, and then in educational publishing, Clinton retired nearly three years ago, but he still wanted others to feel the same passion for reading that he does.
"I sort of wanted to take everything I learned as a teacher and in publishing and bring it to some sort of societal good," he says.
So the 64-year-old began volunteering at READ 718. The Boreum Hill nonprofit organization pairs volunteers with kids who need some extra help reading.
"It starts with reading, but it really is about students navigate the wider world as they become teenagers and adults," he says.
The students, who are in third to eighth grades, meet with their tutors twice a week. Each lesson is individually tailored.
"We've been doing his reading through a color coded, it's almost like a color-coded bookmark, which enabled Parker to keep focused on the lines so his eyesight does not dance around the page," Clinton says.
Clinton started working with fourth grader Parker Grant in September. He teaches Grant shortcuts to learn new vocabulary words.
"Sometimes the child will know the word 'wonder' but not the word 'wonderful.' We get them to identify their knowledge of the word 'wonder' and then we build on that," Clinton says.
Then, it's Parker's turn to read.
"So far, he's helped me say words that I can't really say good. So that helps me a lot so I get to say new words," Parker says.
"Even as a child, I saw reading as a really a gateway to learning about what's possible in the world, and I want to impart that on the students at READ 718," Clinton says.
So, for helping children to begin a new chapter in their lives, Ken Clinton is our New Yorker of the Week.