Say “back to school” and most of us think about youngsters boarding the school bus bemoaning the brevity of summer.

But for some volunteers of Marshall County RSVP, fall means an enthusiastic return to school as an RSVP Reading Buddy where they work one-on-one with kindergarten through second graders who are having difficulty learning to read.

Reading Buddies choose the school, day of the week and time of their choice. They volunteer for a semester or a school year. Orientation is provided by RSVP and the school to familiarize the Buddy with the school, school procedures, holiday schedules and resources.

Studies prove that the earlier children’s needs are addressed, the better chances are that problems will be avoided in the future. Therefore, the RSVP program wants to increase its volunteer resources targeted for literacy programs and early childhood intervention at schools in the county.

We need men and women who could give an hour a week to help a student learn the joy of reading. RSVP Reading Buddies gain such personal satisfaction as they see their efforts pay off when “their” children go from below grade level reading to grade level with their help.

Most Reading Buddies work one-on-one with two different students during the hour they are at the school. Teachers will send things for the student to read or Reading Buddies and their student pick out books of interest at the school library. Sometimes Reading Buddies bring one of their own favorites to read to the child.

If you can give an hour week (with time off for your vacations, etc.) to this heart-warming, fun Reading Buddy program, please call Becky Whitaker at RSVP to volunteer or for more information, 256-571-7734.

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