Pride In Working For A Company That Values Giving Back

The Value of Volunteer Work

During her recent job search, Audrey Smith hoped her next employer would value one thing in particular: employees who wanted to give back.

“I want to work for a company that cares about me—and about the community, too,” she says.

Audrey found one, as a Human Resources Manager role at Pearson’s Denver-area office.

“One of the first things mentioned in my orientation was that all Pearson employees are given a number of volunteer days each year—to participate in Pearson-organized efforts or those of our own choosing.”

“After hearing that, I knew I was in the right place,” Audrey says.

Reading Partners

This spring, Audrey and 100 other Pearson employees across the country spent a day volunteering in their local communities.

The effort was co-organized by Pearson and Reading Partners in honor of National Volunteer Week.

Reading Partners is a national, non-profit organization that pairs mentors with students in public school systems. In particular, they serve schools with large minority and low socioeconomic populations.

“Pearson is known as the ‘world’s learning company,’ so literacy education is core to our work,” Audrey says.


“Pearson is known as the ‘world’s learning company,’
so literacy education is core to our work.”


After a short training with the Reading Partners staff, Pearson employees spent an hour working on reading skills with struggling elementary-aged students.

Most of the students were reading far below their grade level.

“I was happy to be there, but nervous, too,” Audrey says.

“I didn’t know what to expect.”

Helping Each Other

Audrey was paired with a third grader named Andrea.

They completed her lesson, and spent the rest of the time reading books together.

Audrey says it was Andrea who put her at ease.

“She’s met with Reading Partners volunteers many times, so she knew the drill. Her comfort with the process made me comfortable, too.”

Audrey says there was only one thing wrong with the experience:

“I wish we had gotten to spend more time together.”


Audrey says there was only one thing wrong with the experience:
“I wish we had gotten to spend more time together.”


A Personal Connection

Audrey says participating in the volunteer day with Reading Partners was important for another reason: she has a little girl of her own at home.

“I’m a single mom, so I know the struggle of trying to balance work with taking care of myself and my kids, too,” Audrey says.

Before coming to Pearson, Audrey had a three-hour commute each day, not leaving much time to read or work on homework with her children.

When Audrey’s daughter started third grade, she was reading at a first-grade level.

“It was a really tough situation—for my daughter and for me,” Audrey says.

After working closely with teachers and reading specialists at school, Audrey’s daughter is no longer behind.

“Her whole outlook on reading has changed.”

“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity help another child dealing with difficulties in the same subject.”


“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity help another child
dealing with difficulties in the same subject.”