[PRESS RELEASE] Successful Reading Program Seeks Volunteers in Clay County

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Volunteer Reading Pal Erika Bauserman reads a Dora the Explorer book to her weekly group of preschoolers at Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

Volunteer Reading Pal Erika Bauserman reads a Dora the Explorer book to her weekly group of preschoolers at Brandts Child Care in St. Augustine.

ORANGE PARK, Fla., August 18, 2014 – The Early Learning Coalition of North Florida (ELC) is expanding its volunteer reading program into Clay County and is currently seeking volunteer Reading Pals.

Reading Pals go into local child-care centers and VPK classrooms on a weekly basis for an hour to read to small groups of children. This program is currently running in St. Johns and Putnam Counties with 45 volunteers reading in 30 different centers.

Studies have shown that the best opportunity to influence our children’s lifetime learning is before kindergarten when their most rapid period of brain growth occurs. Reading one-on-one to children sets the groundwork for their future ability to read and learn. Through the volunteer Reading Pals program, many students are now receiving the personal attention they need.

“I am very excited that this program is now expanding into Clay County,” said Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator of ELC. “We have 15 centers that are just waiting to receive volunteers who a passion and love for reading to young children.”
The ELC is holding a mandatory information/training class on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 between 10:00 a.m. and Noon at the Career Source office building, located at 1845 Town Center Blvd. suite 150 in Orange Park. Free background screenings will also be provided.

To register for this session or to find out more information about this program, contact Joan Whitson, Early Literacy Coordinator at 904-342-2267 or jwhitson@elcnorthflorida.org.

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