Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival Goes to Summer Reading Buddies Program
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
by Madeline Finesmith
Summertime usually means two precious months of sweet, sticky freedom. But it can also mean “Summer Slide” which can sneak in when summer activities don’t include reading. Children who do not read over the summer can lose more than two months of reading achievement – and it’s cumulative. By the end of 6th grade children who lose reading skills over the summer will be two years behind their classmates.
That is why the volunteers of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival took a road trip to the Summer Reading Buddies program at the Yonkers Riverfront Library on Wednesday, July 16th.
The Summer Reading Buddies program is run by JCY-Westchester Community Partners, a Division of Family Service Society of Yonkers, and helps almost 300 children each day maintain the reading skills they learned throughout the year. The students are paired with a mentor and they read books together from their summer reading lists. Younger children take part in a ‘read aloud’ and parents are engaged in workshops that support their children.
A group of eleven volunteers from the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival mentored children throughout the morning. Volunteers included high school students, a college student, former teachers, and members of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival organizing committee.
According to volunteer Amy Murray,
“Being part of the Summer Reading Buddies program was very rewarding. It was great to see so many kids come out to the library on an early summer morning and get excited about reading.”
The premise of the JCY-Westchester Partners program is to help kids with their reading skills and in addition, give volunteers a positive experience. “The program is also about engaging volunteers” says Recruiting and Public Relations Manager Randee Ginsberg. It was indeed heartwarming to see our younger volunteers willingly giving up a summer morning to help other kids who need it.
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