Literacy tutoring program at FiftyForward gains national recognition

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) –  A tutoring program is gaining popularity for helping students learn how to read.

Friends Learning in Pairs, or FLIP, is a volunteer tutoring program sponsored by Fifty Forward.

The program brings people like 82-year-old Neal Buchanan and 8-year-old Noah Dejesus together in an effort to help children learn to read.

“I’m the son of a teacher.  I spent most of my life teaching and when I retired this was an opportunity to keep my hand in teaching because I love children,” said Buchanan.

According to Dejesus, Buchanan has helped him make great strides in his reading.

“When I start reading, the words are much better, so I can read it,” said Dejesus.

The success story of Noah and Neal is featured on the back of Kellogg Frosted Flakes. The FLIP program is also recognized by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“I would never have dreamed anything like this would happen I certainly didn’t get into teaching with the expectation that one day I would be on a cereal box like an athlete,” said Buchanan.

Sandra Thomas of the FLIP/FftyForward program says that the bonds that are formed through the program are key to its success.

“Even though we know that the academic success is extremely important, but the relationships that are formed with our volunteers is just as important,” said Thomas.

You don’t have to be a retired educator to be a tutor. The majority of FLIP volunteers from all walks of life.

To be a volunteer, contact FiftyForward at 615-743-3400 or at