Pen pal program encourages reading in children

The Early Learning Coalition is recruiting volunteers for the Literacy Buddy Program. The program helps children buil...

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 12:18 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 12:18 PM

The Early Learning Coalition is recruiting volunteers for the Literacy Buddy Program. The program helps children build their own home library by partnering them with an adult. The students send letters to their adult buddies who then send books back. The program is already in place at school across Southwest Florida including Lee and Charlotte County.

"I have all of the letters my buddies have sent me in four years. I just keep them as treasures. They're my treasures", Donna Shehr told 4 In Your Corner.

Shehr has been involved with the program for the past four years. She told Fox 4 the bond she developed with her buddy went well beyond the classroom.

"I buy books and I come in and do readings with my buddy", she said.

She also told 4 In Your Corner that she was able to see her buddy's language skills develop as they continued to correspond. Normally a buddy would only send three books to a child. Shehr said says she would often send more to encourage her students to continue reading.

"By the end, you're seeing them write their names or some small words, sentences sometimes."

The program runs throughout the school year. The program's early learning literacy advisor, Barbara Rodriguez, says the opportunity to share the interaction with the children benefits the volunteers as well. She told 4 In Your Corner, volunteers allow the program to grow.

"We are very grateful of their commitment and their love. Without them, this is not possible."

More information about the literacy buddies program can be found here.

Article Comments

Mason City
33° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Albert Lea
34° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
37° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 33°
Charles City
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 26°
34° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Rain/mix possible on Wednesday
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video


Chris Likes Mom's Ties


Lawmakers tour Rochester


Prepping for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day


NIACC women's basketball season preview


Sports Overtime: highlights from around the area


Honoring entrenpeneurs


Hip Hop with a Message


Dyslexia simulation


Teen driving safety


Chris' PM Weather Forecast

Community Events