The program invites community members to read aloud to first and second-grade students to improve emerging reading skills, using a special selection of books that also help children strengthen self-awareness, decision-making, and interpersonal skills vital for success in school, work, and life.

Volunteers will receive guidance through an orientation session and story discussion guides to help them facilitate conversations with students about the themes of the stories. Volunteer readers will visit their assigned classroom for a total of five 30-minute sessions.

The program aims to help first and second graders build literacy skills and to learn about themselves, others, and the world around them. Not only does the program benefits students, and it will also provide a new collection of classroom books to every first- and second-grade teacher. This set of 20 books will be a resource to the teacher throughout the year, help facilitate conversations, and help guide the students through tough situations. Reading Neighbors will also introduce the students to a diverse set of volunteer readers, demonstrating that neighbors are people we take time to know, we share with, and we help when they’re in need.

“Reading aloud to children is one of the most important activities for building their own success in reading. Reading aloud expands students’ vocabulary and improves communication and listening skills. It boosts students’ curiosity, imagination, and memory. Most importantly, it encourages students to become passionate and lifelong readers. We’re thrilled to be partnering with the Vigo County School Corporation, Parke County Community Foundation, and Brouilletts Creek Solar to offer this program to our young readers and we look forward to working with our volunteers to make it a success!” Dorothy Chambers, Community Impact staff member, explained.

Interested volunteers should contact Shawn Stoll at United Way of the Wabash Valley. He can be reached at 812.235.6287 or at [email protected].

“This is year three for me… a definite highlight from January-May!” – Tracey

Readers currently needed:

1st & 2nd Graders

  • Vigo County
  • Parke County

1st Grade

  • Vermillion

Reading Neighbors provides a unique way to volunteer. Read one book a month, January to May, to a local school and provide children in the classroom with an exciting literature experience.

If you are interested in volunteering or want to learn more, contact Shawn at [email protected].