If you love kids and books, then you may be just who the Chilliwack and Yarrow libraries is looking for: the two branches of the Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) are in need of more buddies for their Reading Buddy program.
“The Reading Buddy program is designed to provide support to kids in grade one to four who are struggling with their reading, or who are having challenges,” explained Chilliwack librarian, Christopher Koth.
The program pairs students with older buddies who can select some books and encourage the reading process along in a positive manner.
“School libraries do their best, but there’s not a lot of time to offer that extra layer of help,” said Koth.
“If people are not reading well by the third grade, it can affect literacy for the rest of their lives,” he added.
Which is where the Reading Buddy program comes in.
“Some kids just respond well to more of a one-on-one session that’s located outside of the school. That extra bit of difference really augments what the schools are already trying to do,” added the librarian.
However, right now there are not enough buddies to go around.
So if you’re 15 years old or older, enjoy working with children, and consider yourself a bit of a bookworm, Koth says you’re welcome to volunteer once you’ve completed the free criminal record check for working with children.
“The big buddy arranges to meet with (the little buddy) once or twice a week, assists with comprehension or pronunciations, and really is just supposed to be a guided support.”
The program is free for children to participate in, and the meeting times are individually chosen between buddies.
“And if you’re a teenager, the (hours) are eligible for volunteer hours, which can be counted in school,” added Koth.
For more information about the Reading Buddy program, or to volunteer, please email Katie Burns at email@example.com.