Become a Third Grade Reading Buddy!
Peoria Public Schools is looking for Reading Buddies, specifically for third grade students. Third grade is an important year, both developmentally and relative to state testing.
As an organization or business, you can adopt a classroom for your employees or members to help our students build relationships and reading skills through regular visits. Not part of a business or organization? Not a problem! Individuals are encouraged to sign up to volunteer as a Reading Buddy.
Please review and fill out the application found on the right side of this page!
What is a Third Grade Reading Buddy?
A Reading Buddy is a volunteer that commits 60 minutes per visit to an assigned school to help increase the designated students' reading skills.
How will I be trained and know what to do?
Reading Buddies will work regularly with their assigned school's Reading Buddies leader and be trained by him or her.
Who will I be working with?
Reading Buddies are typically assigned to a team of five that will be assigned to work with three students throughout the school year. A business or organization can request that five employees or members be grouped together. Each Reading Buddy will select one day per month on a rotating basis. Most months, only four of the five volunteers will be needed. Teams are able to work together to make sure each week is covered. Each school will hold an orientation for volunteers to meet the classroom teacher and their three assigned students prior to volunteer sessions beginning. The three assigned students are pulled one-by-one out of the classroom for 20 minutes of one-on-one tutoring. Once the three, 20-minute sessions are completed for the day, the volunteer is done until their next scheduled visit.
If you are an individual and have one hour each week that you can spend at an assigned school, you will get to work with the same three students, 20 minutes each, each week for a total of one hour a week. As with the team schedule, once an individual volunteer has completed three, 20-minute sessions he or she is done until the next week. Of course, volunteers can agree to come more than once a week if they like, which will benefit more children.
How much time commitment is involved?
Volunteers are requested to commit 60 minutes for one day a month. If your team is assigned to a group of students that you are to meet every Thursday at 11 a.m., the five members of your team will rotate and each take a Thursday a month, while one team member will usually have that month off.
What if my business or organization does not have a full team?
If a company or organization does not have five individuals to complete a full team, individual volunteers or groups from other companies will be combined with your team to make a full team of five volunteers.
Can I request what school I would like to work with?
Yes! During the application process, volunteers can request to work with a specific school or on a specific day/time. However, final placements will be made according to district need.
Can I volunteer weekly and make up my own team?
Yes! Reading Buddies was designed to make scheduling easy and non-burdensome for working adults. However volunteers who are able to commit once a week or more can be assigned to their own team and attend each weekly session with his or her assigned students.
What happens if I have to cancel my assigned time?
If a team member must cancel the assigned time they are to meet with their students, the team member should contact another member on their team to cover the session. The program was designed in teams specifically for this reason. However, it is important that teams do not skip out on a session all together. Young students build excitement for scheduled guests and disappointment can lead to devastating effects to the trust that you are working to build with them in their educational journey. If you are an individual volunteer, you should contact the school directly and let them know that you will not be able to make it that day.
How does the District ensure the safety of students with volunteers at each school?
Student safety is the number one priority of Peoria Public Schools. Each volunteer is required to pass a background check. This is done through a packet that requires volunteers to provide their name, Social Security number and drivers license information. This process is confidential and is completed through the District's Human Resources Department. For the protection of the students and the volunteers, volunteers should not be in a room alone with students at any time.
Who can I contact for more information?
Curriculum & Instruction Office or 309-672-6536 ex. 22266