Reading Buddies is an in-school program for 2nd and 3rd grade students who are close to reading on level. We train our volunteer literacy coaches to read with children. Big Buddies learn essential literacy skills, such as phonics, decoding strategies, and fluency. By working one-on-one with their Buddy for 30 minutes each week, Big Buddies provide academic and social support. The Reading Buddies program uses leveled, high interest books, specialized literacy activities, one on one reading, and a few arts and crafts to strengthen childrens’ identities as readers. We consistently monitor student progress to adjust books and activities so they meet their current needs. By working with children in schools, we can better support and reinforce the skills they are learning in the classroom.
At A Glance
Who: Second and third graders in North Lawndale that are in need of literacy support.
What: Thirty minutes of weekly dedicated reading time and social and emotional learning.
Where: In our partner schools and afterschool programs in North Lawndale.
Why: Research shows that students who are not proficient readers by the end of third grade are unlikely to finish high school. Children of color and those from low- income backgrounds are even less likely to enter fourth grade as proficient readers. The Reading Buddies program aims to instill a love of reading while helping students move closer to grade level proficiency.