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Book Buddies Literacy Volunteer Program

Encompassing Bridgeport Easton Fairfield Georgetown Monroe Norwalk Redding Ridgefield Rowayton Southport Stratford Trumbull Weston Westport Wilton


Our goal is to encourage young children to value reading and become confident and competent readers. 


Book Buddies recruits and trains volunteers to strengthen the reading skills and self-confidence of elementary school students. Volunteers, under the guidance of the school staff, provide individual attention to students, share their love of reading, and engage children in meaningful conversations about books.


Book Buddies is part of the Books2Connect program and is sponsored by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.


  • Volunteers commit to read once a week on a designated day for one hour with two 2nd-grade students (1/2 hour each).

  • Volunteers provide one-on-one reading practice, creating an experience around books that is positive and enjoyable.

  • Teachers select students who are “on the cusp” in their grade-level reading ability and/or who would benefit from individual reading attention, exposure to good books, and great role-models who will help them develop the motivation to learn to read.

  • The role of the volunteer is to foster self-confidence and support the development of early literacy skills and critical-thinking abilities rather than focus on the mechanics of reading.

  • Teachers will often provide materials and guidance for the volunteer.

  • Training and support are provided before and throughout the school year. Volunteer responsibilities, safety policies, and useful ideas for making the most of each reading session are discussed and outlined in a printed handbook provided to each volunteer.

  • Reading volunteers work in a common space and are supported by a Coordinator who provides oversight and assistance.




Blackham School

42 Thorme St.

Bridgeport, CT 06606


Brookside Elementary School

382 Highland Ave.

Norwalk, CT 06854


Tuesdays 9:30-10:30 a.m.


Thursdays 9:30-10:30 a.m.


Tuesdays, 12:45-1:45 p.m.


Lauren Zirn and Anita Chargar

MAY 2018:


Book Buddies closed the book on its first chapter, celebrating the successful inaugural year of its pilot program at Blackham School in Bridgeport.

Every week during the year, volunteer readers met one-on-one with students to practice reading skills, and as the first year comes to a close, we can’t help but marvel at the wonderful relationships that have formed between our Book Buddies!

To mark this milestone, each child received a cupcake, crayons, a certificate of completion, and books to own, courtesy of Federation’s Books2Connect program, which was established to encourage children to build their own home libraries.

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