SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A Syracuse City Schools reading program is making a return after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Book Buddies not only aims at developing students’ love for reading but it’s also intended to improve their skills.
David Ringwood is a longtime educator who recently retired. Volunteering for Book Buddies gives him the perfect opportunity to continue making a difference in young students’ lives.
During lunchtime, Syracuse City School students are able to work one-on-one with the same volunteer every week. The program is focused on ensuring that all students’ reading abilities are at grade level by third grade.
Nancy Kern Eaton, president of the United Way of Central New York, was a Book Buddy herself.
After a pandemic pause, Book Buddies is making a strong comeback, expanding to three city schools: Syracuse Dual Language Academy (where the program started), Roberts Elementary and Bellevue Elementary school.
“Given the constraints of a school day, a chance for a teacher to work one on one with a student, that doesn’t always happen,” Ringwood explained. “So, if you have an additional resource in the building like a Book Buddy, that’s going to benefit. It’s going to be a benefit for the students.”
The program is looking for about 80 more volunteers this year. It’s one hour of your time each week.
United Way of Central New York and M&T Bank are this year’s sponsors.