If you have a child in elementary school, you might hear that they have a ‘reading buddy.’ A primary child (grades Kindergarten up to grade three) is paired up with an intermediate student (grades four to seven) to practice their reading.
Little buddies benefit from having a big reading buddy in many ways:
- They hear reading fluency, phrasing and expression by having stories read aloud to them.
- They get to converse with an older student about topics that involve them and interest them. This extends their vocabulary and oral language abilities.
- They get an opportunity to practice reading with one-to-one assistance.
- They get to hang out with a ‘big kid’ who connects them to their school community.
Big buddies also benefit. They:
- Strengthen their own literacy skills.
- Foster relationships with little buddies that enhances their leadership and problem-solving abilities.
- Have improved self-confidence from being looked up to.
Reading Buddies programs are fun, personal, and effective. They introduce the pleasures of reading to younger readers. This is particularly useful for EAL (English as an Additional Language) students. They are an excellent way to address learning needs of both younger and older children.
If you’re interested in expanding beyond what is offered in your school, you may be surprised to learn that Surrey Libraries offer Reading Buddies programs also. This program provides opportunities for teens to gain volunteer experience, while providing further opportunities for readers who could use more help.
The Surrey Libraries Coast Capital Savings Reading Buddies program is currently seeking Teen Volunteers (Big Buddies). As a Coast Capital Savings Reading Buddies Volunteer, you are a role model to a young reader, practicing reading with your buddy and engaging in fun literacy activities. Being a “big buddy” is a rewarding experience, and counts towards CAPP hours. Big Buddies are paired up with reluctant readers who are in grades 2-4 to practice reading in a safe, supportive environment.
If you have a reader that can use a little boost, please fill out this application form. Given limited space in our Reading Buddies program, children will be accepted on a first come first served basis. Library branches will stop accepting applications once the program is full at that location. If your teen is interested in becoming a Big Buddy, fill out this application form. Teens will be required to provide references, attend an interview and be able to commit to the full 6-week program.