Editor’s note: Today begins a new column, recognizing good work in our community — the people and actions that make us strong.

Hundreds of reading coaches are in the schools, 1,700 struggling readers are getting individual help, and thousands of books are in the hands of high-risk children thanks to volunteers and donors for Literacy Connects.

The program widened its reach in the 2013-14 school year after hundreds of new volunteers responded to the call in August by the Arizona Daily Star and Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild for more volunteer reading coaches.

Here’s how the community came together to support children’s literacy:

  • 478 community members became new Reading Seed coaches, bringing the total to 747 in the 2013-14 school year. That’s a 57 percent increase from 2012-13.
  • 1,700 children in 48 different schools received coaching.
  • 10,000-plus children’s books have been donated since February.
  • 185 teen and adult volunteers sorted and cleaned a total of 40,000 books this school year. They went to high-risk students through Head Start and Literacy Connects.

Volunteer training to prepare new reading coaches for the next school year begins in May and June. For information on the training and other volunteer opportunities, visit Literacyconnects.org

If you have a suggestion for an individual or group worthy of community recognition, send it to mparham@azstarnet.com