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Reading Buddies at the Uxbridge Public Library


The Standard

UXBRIDGE: The Reading Buddies program at the Uxbridge public library fosters reading literacy through one-on-one literacy-based activities.

This year, Andrea Stewart organized Reading Buddies, with support from other Uxbridge Public Library staff members who have run the program in past years. They did take a brief hiatus due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

“It’s a really great program for both the big buddies and the little buddies,” said Ms. Morrison. “It’s lots of fun, and we are hoping, come next fall, we’ll be able to return to more than just one session.”

Little buddies consist of students from Grades 1 to 3, and big buddies include high school-aged volunteers.

Big buddies are required to arrive at the library by 4:15 p.m.

The Reading Buddies program starts this April, running from April 21st until June 9th, 2022. In past years, the library has had multiple groups for this program. This year, library staff and organizers have created one group, which will run from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Ms. Morrison said the primary reason for this is because the high school bell rings around 4 p.m. “It limits our nights,” said Ms. Morrison. “But we are hoping that, next year, those bell times will change.”

High school students will receive 1.5 hours of volunteer time per week for a total of 12 hours towards mandatory volunteer hours for high school.

Overall, there are about ten “little buddies” and about ten “big buddies” involved in the program this year.

“It’s a good partnership,” said library manager, Corrinne Morrison. “It’s meant to make reading fun.”

The participants and library staff usually do a “fun activity” during each session.

Ms. Morrison explained the program starts with the participants arriving at the library (usually after school), and then they are given a snack. And then they divide into their respective pairs, and, afterwards, everyone joins together to do an activity.

Sometimes the activity will be a literacy-related craft or game, but it varies day by day.

Although it is not mandatory, library staff are encouraging everyone to wear masks during the Reading Buddies program. They also encourage everyone who enters the library at any time to wear a mask.

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