Surrey, BC – Surrey Libraries is inviting emergent readers in grades 2 to 4 to sign up for the popular Envision Financial Reading Buddies program. This program pairs up teen volunteers to mentor younger children to help build their “Little Buddies’” literacy skills.
Program registration opens online on September 27 at surreylibraries.ca/reading-buddies. The program runs for 6 weeks, October through December, and is open to children living in Surrey.
“This is a great experience for young readers to practice their reading skills,” says Sara Grant, youth services manager at Surrey Libraries. “It’s also a great opportunity for the teens as they get to build leadership skills, gain volunteer experience, and make a positive impact on the lives of the younger kids.”
Teen volunteers and their “Little Buddies” spend one hour each week practicing reading together online using MS Teams. The goal is to help the young readers gain confidence and improve their reading skills.
The program has other benefits too. It can foster a special bond between teens and their Little Buddies. “Teens can be surprised by the connection they make with their Little Buddy,” says Grant. “They discover common interests, have fun playing games, and just enjoy each others company. It’s truly heartwarming.”
The program sponsor, Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, is excited to be supporting the program. “As a financial cooperative, we truly believe in working, learning, and making a difference together to help our community thrive,” says David Lanphear, president of Envision Financial. “We want to help encourage our young readers to find the joy in reading, and what better way than to have young leaders in our community work with our Little Buddies.”
Surrey Libraries has been running the Reading Buddies program since 2004 and over 5,000 teens and Little Buddies have benefited from the program. For more information on Envision Financial Reading Buddies at Surrey Libraries, please visit surreylibraries.ca/reading-buddies.