ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from pre-k to 3rd grade who may need extra help.

ReadingPals - two girls in a classroom

Our ReadingPals volunteers have been paired with thousands of young children in Florida. They build meaningful relationships and help improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills.

Why is ReadingPals Important?

Only 37% of students that did not attend VPK are ready for Kindergarten, compared to 62% of students that completed 70% or more of VPK Program Hours.

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What Do We Hope to Achieve?

  1. MENTORING: To build a love of reading through impactful relationships between students and mentors.
  2. EARLY LITERACY: To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.
  3. SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

Where is ReadingPals Available?

ReadingPals is managed by The Children’s Movement of Florida, United Ways and numerous community partners. Our local partners in 20+ Florida counties help us provide in-person ReadingPals opportunities in hundreds of classrooms, child care centers and afterschool programs. Some regions also offer a virtual mentoring version of ReadingPals, accessible from any smart device.

See where ReadingPals operates

2022-2023 ReadingPals Impact

  • 19 Participating Counties
  • 500 Classrooms
  • 2,575 Students Matched
  • 1,317 Volunteer Mentors
  • 36,871 Take-Home Books Donated
  • 61,919 Reading Sessions
ReadingPals: Kids reading a book

Join ReadingPals


To send us a question about ReadingPals, click here.



Boy holding book

What is the Commitment?

ReadingPals volunteers are asked to commit an hour per week with their student(s) for 25+ weeks during the school year (some programs may offer a 30-minute per week or semester option). Thousands of volunteers have made this commitment, many of which return for multiple years! 

What Impact Have You Made?

Over the last decade, more than 25,000 students have received a ReadingPals mentor and a share of 470,000 donated books. This is all made possible thanks to the Barnett family’s generosity and passion for promoting literacy and early childhood development.

How Can I Get Started?

Once signed up through The Children’s Movement of Florida or local United Way/agency, volunteers are connected with a regional coordinator who will provide details about participating schools in your area, available time slots, background screening, training, and curriculum.

What Else Can I Do?

ReadingPals volunteers see the importance of early education first-hand and gain exposure to the challenges many teachers and students face in the classroom. We hope the ReadingPals experience will inspire our volunteers to become advocates alongside The Children’s Movement, promoting greater investment in Florida’s youngest children.



Celebrating 11 Years of ReadingPals

Our 2023 ReadingPals Conference & Celebration convened hundreds of our volunteers, partners, and parents. We explored the importance of early literacy intervention, mentoring, and the Science of Reading. Take a look at the full recap of our event, speakers, and resources here.

Statewide Volunteer Training Module: The Science of Reading

At the start of the 2023-2024 school year, The Children’s Movement of Florida hosted our first statewide training module for ReadingPals volunteers and partners. Here, you can watch the recorded training video (60 minutes), download the presentation, and explore some of the online resources shared in the presentation.



2022-2023 ReadingPals Impact Report

2022-2023 ReadingPals Impact Report

RP Volunteer Survey

2022-2023 ReadingPals Volunteer Survey

ReadingPals 2018-2019 Statewide Annual Report Cover

ReadingPals 2018-2019 Statewide Annual Report

ReadingPals News

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