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ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) to 3rd grade who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings

ReadingPals offers volunteers an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children in Florida, while helping them improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skils. ReadingPals was designed by The Children's Movement of Florida and is currently administered through 17 United Ways with the help of numerous community partners across the state.

We offer programs in 27 counties via 17 local United Ways and other community partners, with opportunities in more than 200 schools and childcare centers around the state. We provide more than 3,000 students every year wth a mentor. This is all made possible thank to the Barnett family's passion for promoting literacy and early-childhood development in Florida.

Our goals are:

1. Mentoring: To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors.
2. Early Literacy: To improve students' understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.
3. Social-Emotional Development: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.


68% of American's fourth graders read at a below proficient level. 82% of those children are from low-income families.
[Source: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Early Warning: Why Reading at the End of Third Grade Matters, 2010]

Help us work in collaboration with teachers, parents and local nonprofit partners to prepare 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders for reading success!


Minimum Requirements:

  • One hour per week (12 to 25 hours for a single volunteer during fall and/or spring, OR bi-weekly with a partner volunteer)

  • New Volunteer Training

  • Level 1 Background Screening (free for volunteers) 


"My ReadingPal's confidence has increased in reading and beyond!" - 2017 Volunteer

Our program runs from September 2019 to May 2020
Fall: September to December
Spring: January to May


If you have any questions about ReadingPals, please contact Rahkiah Brown at or call 352-333-0858