When students are not reading at grade level by third grade they are 4 times more likely not to graduate on time or at all. As part of a nationwide United Way initiative to support our schools assist students with reading, United Way of Thurston County’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program launched the United Way Reading Buddy program in 2011.
Community volunteers are recruited and placed in elementary schools to help students struggling to read at grade level with extra reading practice. Reading Buddies help boost their confidence and academic achievement to set the right track for a brighter future.
Now entering its fifth year, the Reading Buddy program has proven successful outcomes. For the 2015-16 school year, 109 Reading Buddies served 500 students. 96% of the students in the program improved from Fall to Spring based on test scores.
“There is still a need for more Reading Buddies in elementary schools throughout Thurston, Lewis and Mason Counties. We have schools on a waiting list and more students to reach,” said Jennifer Thompson, Reading Buddy Program Manager.
United Way of Thurston County seeks passionate, dedicated volunteers in Thurston, Lewis and Mason Counties to join the Reading Buddy program for the 2016-17 school year.
“About one hour a week for the duration of the school year is all it takes to make a difference in a child’s life,” said Jennifer Thompson. “Being a Reading Buddy enriches a volunteer’s life too.”
Registration is open for upcoming Reading Buddy orientations in Lewis, Mason and Thurston counties.
Thurston County – Olympian Community Room (111 Bethel St. NE, Olympia)
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 1:30-3:00 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 20, 1:30p-3:00 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 27, 1:30p-3:00 pm
Lewis County – United Way Office (450 NW Pacific Ave, Chehalis)
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 10-11:30 am
Thursday, Sept. 15, 1-2:30 pm
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 10-11:30 am
Mason County – United Way Office (724 W. Railroad Ave, Shelton)
Wednesday, Sept. 14th, 10-11:30 am
Tuesday, Sept. 20th, 10-11:30 am