Reading Buddies return to local libraries | VailDaily.com

Reading Buddies return to local libraries

Daily staff report
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The Reading Buddies volunteer program for children and teenagers has returned.

Teens — is this the year you've resolved to make a difference in your community? The libraries of Avon and Gypsum in collaboration with the Literacy Project of Eagle County are recruiting for their fall session of Reading Buddies.

The Reading Buddies program pairs trained teen volunteers entering grades eight through 12 with a younger child (students entering grades kindergarten to third). Reading Buddies meet up once a week at the libraries to read, play games and do reading-related activities.

'Fantastic Opportunity'

"This is a fantastic opportunity for older students to gain leadership, responsibility and community service hours while fostering a love of reading in elementary school students," said Rachael Protas, who specializes in services for teens at the Avon Public Library.

"These young readers are provided additional language arts support (reading, writing and speaking) in a positive, friendly and fun environment."

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Giving Back

The Reading Buddies program is also a great way for teens to give back. For longtime Big Buddy volunteer Allie Gish, the program was an opportunity to establish a space for younger readers to grow.

"It was a joy to watch my Little Buddy thrive in the safe environment we cultivated together," Gish said. "By the final week, my buddy came in excited and ready to read. I was so proud to watch him delve into chapter books that were previously daunting."

All teen volunteers will receive training both before and during the program.

For more information on becoming a Big Buddy or Little Buddy, at either Gypsum or Avon, contact your local library.

Please note that a Big Buddy training takes place before the program start date. For more information, or to volunteer with Reading Buddies, contact Nick Dawson at the Gypsum Public Library or Rachael Protas at the Avon Public Library.

Reading Buddies schedule

Gypsum Public Library: Thursdays, Sept. 7-Oct. 26, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Call 970-524-5080.

Avon Public Library: Wednesdays, Sept. 13-Nov. 1, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Call 970-949-6797.