Reading Buddy Program

The goal of the program is to help children improve their reading skills & gain confidence as readers.

The Reading Buddy Program pairs volunteers, as mentors, with elementary school students.

Students meet with their reading buddy once per week for 8 weeks to read together one-on-one and foster a love of reading. Each reading buddy is an adult volunteer who has passed a background check and has received training.

“It all starts with a spark of the imagination, then the idea grows, and that all starts with reading. Reading opens a world of possibilities for our learners. Kobi Yamada wrote in the children’s book What Do You Do with an Idea?: “And then, I realized what you do with an idea… You change the world.”

The Reading Buddy program with the Spokane County Library District creates positive learning relationships for our elementary students. Students and their Reading Buddies are able to read with a purpose and have a conversation about it. Students connect and engage with the mentors who encourage and inspire an enthusiasm for reading and learning.

Research shows that having a relationship centered on reading with an adult produces more results than all the technology in the world. Those relationships are important for social and academic growth. We are grateful for this partnership, and our students really look forward to visits from their Reading Buddies.”

–Ben Small, Superintendent, Central Valley School District

Participating Schools

Central Valley School District: Broadway, Greenacres, McDonald, and Progress Elementary Schools

East Valley School District: Otis Orchards Elementary School

Mead School District: Creekside Elementary School

West Valley School District: Pasadena Park Elementary School

Please check with your student’s elementary school if you think your child could benefit from the Reading Buddy Program.

If you’re a teacher or administrator of an elementary school and would like to learn about participating in the Reading Buddy Program, you can contact our Literacy Program Coordinator, Melanie Boerner, at 509.893.8408 or

“Our Brentwood teachers really appreciate having another resource for students who need additional help in reading. My teachers have shared with me how impressed they are with the Reading Buddy Program and its volunteers. Not only do kids love meeting with their reading buddy, they are also making steady gains in language arts and reading. I feel truly blessed to have this partnership with Spokane County Library District.”

–Justin Valentine, Principal, Brentwood Elementary School (Mead School District)

Permission Form

Reading Buddy Program Permission Form (download)

Looking to volunteer for the Reading Buddy Program?

You can visit our Volunteer web page to learn about the requirements to be a Reading Buddy and to submit your application.