Summer reading buddies needed

United Way of Allen County logo

Press release from the United Way of Allen County:

Summer Reading Buddies Needed
Budget Cuts to Summer School Programs Make Volunteers Even More Essential

United Way of Allen County’s Learn United initiative is in search of approximately 200 volunteers to help elementary students improve their literacy skills over the summer. “Summer Reading Buddies” are needed June 14 through August 13 at a variety of times and locations. Volunteers may sign up for as little as one hour a week for two weeks, and as much as several hours a week for ten weeks.

“Budget cuts have forced local school districts to eliminate or reduce summer school programs,” said Marcy Yoder, United Way of Allen County’s vice president of community relations. “That makes literacy volunteers all the more important this year to help local students who struggle with reading skills.”

Site locations include: the Boys & Girls Club, East Allen Family Resource Center, Euell A. Wilson Center, Fort Wayne Urban League, Neighborhood Action Center, Study Elementary, Vincent Village, Wellspring sites (Plymouth Congregational Church, Emmanuel Lutheran Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church and Trinity English Lutheran Church), and YMCA sites (Camp Glenwood, Camp Kekionga, Southeast Y and Old Fort Y).

Interested volunteers should call 260.469.4030, or visit and click on volunteer. All volunteers will receive training and undergo a background check.

Learn United is a ten-year effort to ensure all Allen County students read at grade level by the end of third grade. It involves recruiting volunteers to help students who struggle with reading. Learn United is a collaborative partnership between United Way of Allen County, the Allen County Education Partnership, all four Allen County public school districts, and The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. More than 1,000 Allen County third-graders do not pass the ISTEP reading test every year; studies show that 74 percent of children who fall behind by third grade never catch up and gain the reading skills needed to be successful.

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