Monday, January 7, 2013

Reading Buddies Make a Difference

Did you know that reading is the cornerstone of all learning for children? Sadly, research shows:

  • only 53% of children aged 3 to 5 are read to by family members
  • most teachers do not have even 5 minutes a day to read individually with each student in class
  • at-risk students by the first grade have a vocabulary that is approximately half of other students.
  • if intervention is delayed until age seven, seventy-five percent of children will continue having difficulty.

It is clear that the sooner a child can develop a love of reading the better; so who can help these young children learn to read for a brighter future? It can be YOU through our new “Reading Buddies” program that instills within children a love of reading—even before they can read!

“Reading Buddies”: are RSVP volunteers who commit to read one-on-one with children in the local Kids Learning Place/Head Start centers. By reading regularly with children in the “Reading Buddies” program, you will be ensuring the next generation will be unstoppable!

What is required to be a RSVP “Reading Buddy”?

  • Commit to volunteer a minimum of one hour per month.
  • You must like working with young children aged 3 – 5 years; which means patience is not just a virtue, but a requirement.
  • Prior experience with reading stories aloud is helpful, but not necessary. We provide training so that you will have the skills you need - we won’t send you out until you are not only competent, but confident.
  • Be 18 or older and have transportation to a local preschool/Head Start center.
  • Must be willing to have a background check and a physical (both provided free of charge); we treasure our youngest patrons and want to proceed in their best interests.

If you live in Darke County and are 55+ years of age, this program could be just right for you. We can also make referrals for younger adults. Call the local RSVP Darke County recruiter, Cheryl Stafford today at 937-548-8002 or email her at and talk with her about the long list of volunteer opportunities that are available.

For more information about the programs of Council on Rural Services … programs for innovative learning, check the Web site at

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