A Tucson nonprofit offering literacy programs is seeking volunteers for the upcoming school year.

Literacy Connects' children's literacy programs, Reading Seed, is looking for 300 new coaches, specially in the Tucson Unified School District and Sunnyside Unified School District.

The goal is to boost interest in reading.

"Studies have shown that if children aren't reading by third grade, they start to give up," said Betty Stauffer, executive director of Literacy Connects. "By fifth grade, the seeds of dropping out of high school are being firmly planted."

She said that from reducing unemployment and poverty to increasing economic growth and opportunity, literacy is key to improving quality of life for the community.

"The earlier we can get a reading coach or a volunteer to work with a child one-on-one and to give that child that special attention… what we’re transmitting to that child is that books are fun, and they are fabulous and they open doors to the world," she said.