Mike Albert Makes a Difference

1Mike Mike Albert, adiposity Youth Director at Northminster Church is a talented family man whose focus in life is helping young people and teaching them the gospel. He unselfishly devotes much of his spare time to the youth group at NPC. It is plain to see, search on any given Sunday, how much he means to the youth and how instrumental he is in their lives.

Mike not only is a husband, father, and NPC Youth Director, but he is also employed by the Peoria School District, working with youth.

Below is an article that appeared in Arizona Republic, Glendale News on December 18, 2013, by Bariah Steiner.

“Audio-book Readers Help Students Who Struggle

Mike Albert started recording for students who struggle to read about three years ago.

The Peoria Unified School District occupational therapist was able to record about two or three books a year, until he turned to volunteers.

About 50 or 60 volunteers have recorded more than 350 books in the past two years—and he’s always looking for more.

Norma Moore and Michael Harding recently attended one of Albert’s one-hour training to get started as volunteers.

“I have time on my hands,” said Moore, a Valley retiree. “They said they needed somebody and I was available.”

Harding, a retired pastor in Phoenix, similarly sought ways to help. “When you’re retired you want to find things to do so you can help others,” he said.

Volunteering isn’t limited to Arizona. Albert said he has had people contact him to volunteer from spots such as New York City, San Francisco and Kansas City.

Volunteers can record books from home. They use an oline program that is free to download.

No special skills are required, “just a passion for reading,” Albert said.

The books range from a few pages to hundreds. Those already in the audio library include such teen favorites as “The Hunger Games” and Harry Potter, and books from the “Goosebumps” series for younger children.

The effort helps students who struggle with reading, whether due to vision issues or other disabilities. Instead of struggling through words, students can listen and better comprehend.

“We were trying to provide accommodations for students and help them with the difficulties that they had with reading.” Albert said. The program saves money, although Albert couldn’t readily say how much, as federal law requires schools to provide such accommodations for students with special needs.

“We didn’t get into it necessarily to save money, we really got into it to make a difference in the kid’s lives,” Albert said. “Kids that would do anything to get out of reading now enjoy reading.”

Those interested in volunteering can e-mail Mike Albert directly at malbert@pusd1.org.

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