Reading Buddies

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Spring 2018

The Spring 2018 Reading Buddies program starts March 4th. Applications are due no later than:

  • Sunday, February 18

A Message from Program Coordinators Bridget Bell & Ryder Heuston

Program Expectations

  • As a matter of Library Policy, parents of Little Buddies must remain in the Library at all times.
  • Depending on the session you are signed-up for, we will meet: 

    • Sundays, 3:30–4:30, March 4 through May 6 (no session March 25 or April 1)
    • Mondays, 4:45–5:45, March 5 through May 7 (no session March 26 or April 2)
  • Please be on time.
  • Please notify Bridget Bell or Ryder Heuston if you will miss a session.

  • Big Buddies are middle and high school students at local schools.
  • If you are curious about what your child is reading or what reading-enrichment activities we do, please feel free to ask us.
  • Remember that Reading Buddies is not a tutoring service; our goal is to help kids enjoy reading.

What is Reading Buddies?

Reading Buddies is a free program that pairs teenage volunteers with K–2nd grade students who are learning to read. They work together for an hour every week—one-on-one.

The Buddies read together for 45 minutes. There are also reading comprehension activities and reading-related games. For the last 15 minutes of the session, all of the Buddies will play a group reading game, such as a Library scavenger hunt.

The program helps boost young readers' skills and get them excited about reading and the library. It gives Big Buddies community service hours and the chance to make a real difference in a child's life. Reading Buddies was first offered at the Louisville Library in the summer of 2009. We thank the Lafayette Public Library for sharing their training materials, helping us get our own program started.

Who are the Big Buddies?

Big Buddies are volunteers in grades 7-12 (or entering grades 7-12 if volunteering for a summer session) who apply to mentor a younger student. Big Buddies from any school are welcome; most of our Buddies come from Louisville Middle School, Summit Middle School, Monarch K-8, Monarch High School, and Fairview High School.

Before participating in Reading Buddies, all Big Buddies participate in a two-hour training program. Big Buddies are NOT tutors—their job is to help Little Buddies enjoy reading, not to help them with homework or correct learning issues.

Who are the Little Buddies?

Little Buddies are elementary school students who want extra help with reading or a teen mentor. Children currently in grades K-2 will get priority in Buddy assignments, but we will also accept children in 3rd grade if we have space.

Little Buddies are drawn primarily from Fireside, Coal Creek, Eldorado K-8, and Louisville elementary schools, but we accept applicants from anywhere. We accept Little Buddies at any reading level—Big Buddies are trained to help children who are pre-reading, as well as those who can read chapter books.

How do I sign up?

  • Applications
    Applications are available by clicking on the links below. They are also available at the Louisville Library Children's Desk. You may complete the form online then drop it off, mail it, fax it, or scan/email it. Please make sure to sign and date the form before submitting it. All the contact information is included at the bottom of the form.
Little Buddy
*New Big Buddy Application Returning Big Buddy Application
 *New Big Buddy volunteers are also required to complete
a City of Louisville Volunteer Application.
  • Eligibility
    All Big Buddies who attend the training are accepted.

    For the Little Buddies, space is limited and applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. We will notify you a few weeks before the program begins if your child has been accepted or is on the waiting list.
  • Attendance Policies
    The goal of Reading Buddies is to establish a relationship between the Buddies, and attendance is critical to the success of the program. Little Buddies who miss more than one session will be unable to participate. It is also very important to the program's success to be on time; if a Little Buddy is late, the Big Buddy may be assigned to a different child for the day.

    If you will not be able to attend a session, please give us as much advance notice as possible. If a last minute emergency or child's illness comes up, please let us know as soon as you can. Parents of Little Buddies are required to remain in the Library (though not with the Buddy pair) during the session.

Who is in charge of the Reading Buddies Program?

Under the supervision and guidance of the Library's Children's Services librarians and staff, the Reading Buddies program is organized and run completely by volunteers for the Library.


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