Become A ReadingPal


What Is ReadingPals? 

ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) and Kindergarten who may need extra help, utilizing a one-on-one approach.


Why Is ReadingPals Important? 

“Interacting with these wonderful children and being able to share my love for children and books, watching them blossom and grow in their desire for books is very rewarding to all of us… the child and their family, their teachers, and me. ReadingPals is an excellent program and it really works!!” Susan Fuller

45% of children in Florida are not ready for Kindergarten1 and 43% of Florida students cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade.2 Additionally, studies show that children with mentors are more confident and have fewer behavioral problems.3 Early intervention and individualized attention gives students the best likelihood of success.


What Do We Hope To Achieve? 

MENTORING: To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors.

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.

EARLY LITERACY: To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.


What Is The Commitment?

ReadingPals volunteers are asked to commit an hour per week with their student(s) for 25+ weeks during the school year. Each new ReadingPal must attend a 2 hour orientation before they begin visiting the school.  Here you will learn the protocols of the program


Where Is ReadingPals Locally? 

ReadingPals is managed by The Children’s Movement of Florida and administered through 17 United Ways — with the help of numerous community partners across the state. 

Participating Schools in Lee County:

Bonita Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Elementary, Colonial Elementary, GLAD Kids, Health Park Child Development Center, Hector Cafferata Elementary, J. Colin English Elementary, New Horizons Afterschool Program in Estero, Orange River Elementary, Orangewood Elementary, Pinewoods Elementary, Sunshine Elementary in Lehigh, The Early Childhood Learning Center, Cape Child Dev Center at Cape Hospital, Lee Memorial Child Dev Center at Lee Memorial Hospital, Villas Elementary

Participating Schools in Hendry County:

CCSWFL Children’s Garden Of LaBelle, RCMA Krome Child Development Center in LaBelle, CCSWFL Harlem Academy in Clewiston

We hope the ReadingPals experience will inspire our volunteers to become advocates alongside The Children’s Movement, promoting greater investment in Florida’s youngest children. Learn more at


How Can I Get Started?

Please click the green button at the bottom of the page.  You will be choosing your school, day and time.  You will also choose an orientation date.  Once submitted, you will receive confirmation emails for both.

[button link=”″ type=”big” color=”green” newwindow=”yes”] Register Here[/button]

If you have any questions, please email Nancy Coker, ReadingPals Manager, at or call 239-433-7544. 





  1. Florida Office of Early Learning (2018)
  2. Florida Department of Education (2018)
  3. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (2013)