As adults, we often forget how daunting it was like learning how to read for the first time. Such as the struggle of coming across a new word, after just conquering a word we thought was the hardest word in existence. For many of us, reading has become effortless with experience.

Sadly, a little more than half of third-grade students in Alachua county are currently struggling with reading. Every child needs to be able to read on grade level by fourth grade, because once they enter fourth grade, they must be able to read to learn, not just learn to read.

For the last five years, our ReadingPals program has matched struggling readers with a mentor to guide them through their journey to reading proficiency. These mentors not only read with the students for one hour a week, but they help the student's confidence grow and create a positive relationship built upon reading. ReadingPals is currently operating in six schools and one after-school center.

As small as an hour may feel, one hour with these students can make a huge difference! If you are interested in becoming a ReadingPals volunteer, please click the button below.