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.


How Can I Get Started?

United Way will open enrollment at the end of the school year for the following year. If you are interested in being a ReadingPal for the 2019/2020 school year please email Nancy Coker at or call 239-433-7544


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:

Villas Elementary, Bonita Elementary, Colonial Elementary, Orangewood Elementary, Orange River Elementary, Pinewoods Elementary, Christa McAuliffe Elementary, J. Colin English Elementary, Hector Cafferata Elementary, Health Park Child Development Center, Sunshine Elementary in Lehigh, The Early Childhood Learning Center, New Horizons Afterschool Program in Estero, Gladiolus Learning and Development Center

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

If you are interested in being a Reading Pal for the 2019/2020 school year please email Nancy Coker 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)