United Way’s volunteer Reading Buddy program is a vital volunteer program that impacts grade-level reading success for local kids. Volunteers work directly with students on a weekly basis and have the power to help boost academic achievement for a child. Studies show that if a child is not reading at grade level by 3rd grade when they reach the stage where they need to “read to learn,” it greatly impacts their ability to graduate on time.
Reading Buddies spend one-hour a week in classrooms, working specifically with children who need additional support with their reading and comprehension skills. One of our local Buddies states, “the biggest highlight for me is to see the excitement on students' faces when I show up to help them learn!" During the 2017-18 school year, over 200 Reading Buddies were placed in 30 elementary schools in Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties, serving over 995 students. 94% of students showed improved test scores between Fall and Spring.
Volunteer recruitment is currently taking place for the Napavine and Centralia School Districts. If you or someone you know would like to volunteer and impact the lives of local kids, please visit www.lewiscountyuw.com/reading-buddy-program.