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The Movement offers our supporters an opportunity to have an impact not only on promoting early literacy, but in building meaningful relationships with young children and helping them to improve their social-emotional development.

ReadingPals was designed and built by The Movement and is currently administered through 17 United Ways with the help of numerous community partners throughout the state of Florida.

What is ReadingPals?

ReadingPals is a volunteer-based literacy initiative that provides mentors for students from Pre-K through 3rd grade who may need extra help.

Why is ReadingPals Important?

45% of children in Florida are not ready for Kindergarten and 43% of students cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade.

What Do You Hope to Achieve with the Program?

  1. To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors.
  2. To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.
  3. To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.

Where is ReadingPals Available?

We offer programs in 27 counties via 17 local United Ways with opportunities in over 200 schools and childcare centers around the state. We help provide over 3,000 students every year with a mentor. This is all made possible thanks to the Barnett family’s passion for promoting literacy and early childhood development in Florida.

How Can I Get Started?

Once signed up, volunteers are connected with a regional coordinator at United Way who will provide details about participating schools in your area, volunteer time-slots, background screening, training and curriculum. To sign up, simply click on this link and indicate how you’d like to get involved.

What is the Commitment?

Reading mentors are asked to commit an hour per week (some programs may offer a 30-minute option) for 25 weeks during the school year. Each school year, over 2,300 volunteers statewide make this commitment, and more than 40% return for another year!

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 Movement, promoting greater investment in Florida’s youngest children.

To learn more about the history, reach and impact of our program, view our recent ReadingPals Statewide Annual Report here.


Sign up today!