What is a Reading Buddy?
The purpose of Reading Buddies is for the volunteers and children to spend time reading together ~ for the children to experience listening to a story as well as practice reading to the adult; for the pair to take time to visit about what they are reading, for the volunteer to encourage engagement in the story and clarify comprehension; to just enjoy a funny story together.
The program is designed to create an enjoyable time, to help the children develop positive attitudes toward books and reading. It is to be a “warm and fuzzy” time, free from the pressures of performance and testing.
While the teachers are the experts in teaching reading skills, Reading Buddies reinforce what the students have learned and affirm and encourage them in mastering the skill of reading.
Nevis Reading Buddies program takes place every Monday school is in session from October through April at the Nevis Elementary School. Adult volunteers are matched with first grade students who have parental/guardian permission to participate and have been referred by their teachers. The volunteers sign in at the Principal’s office and meet their buddy at the classroom at a designated time. They take reading materials with them to the library where they find a quiet space to read together for 20 to 25 minutes. The adult then accompanies the student back to his/her classroom.
Park Rapids Reading Buddies program takes place every other Tuesday or Thursday school is in session from October through April at Century Elementary School. Adult volunteers are matched with first graders who have parental/guardian permission to participate and have been referred by their teachers. The volunteers sign in at the Principal’s office and wait for their buddy outside the cafetorium. They join them for lunch with the option of bringing their own food or going through the lunch line with their buddy and purchasing their own lunch. The volunteers sit with the children, meeting their friends and visiting with them while they eat. When finished, the buddies return to the classroom to pick out reading materials, find a quiet place in the classroom or the first grade common pod area, and read together about twenty minutes. The child then has the opportunity to join his/her classmates for the final ten minutes of recess and the volunteer is free to leave.