Can you imagine a home with no books? Research suggests that as many as 61% of low-income families do not read to their children on a regular basis and that 70% of students nationwide are scoring below grade level on reading tests – even right here in Monmouth County.
Reading Buddies is designed to help. Launched in 1998, this early-childhood literacy development program advances literacy skills and creates enthusiastic, confident young readers in 18 public schools throughout Monmouth County. It is the only in-school reading program in the county, and the majority of the partner schools are in neighborhoods where the population is underserved.
On a weekly basis, volunteer readers visit the schools for one hour and read aloud to students in kindergarten through second grade.
- Links 225 volunteers, primarily seniors, with more than 1,400 elementary-aged students.
- Distributes more than 10,000 free books annually.
- Continues during the summer as the Reading Buddies Summer Program in-school based enrichment programs.
- Distributes over 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to local schools during the month of August.