What is the Lunchtime Reading Program?

In Read to a Child’s Lunchtime Reading Program, an adult is partnered one-on-one with an at-risk elementary school student for a rewarding read aloud experience during the child’s lunch break. The relationship typically lasts for the entire school year and often extends for multiple years through the end of fourth grade. The simple act of reading aloud to a child once a week, over time, can have a profound impact on the child’s future. The Lunchtime Reading Program also offers the adult a convenient, joyful, and meaningful way to give back.

We primarily work with companies that provide volunteers and funding to support our program, however many of our schools are opening volunteering up to individual volunteers.

Interested in volunteering? Keep reading!

WHERE ARE THE PROGRAMS AND SCHOOLS LOCATED? 
We are located in Greater Boston, Metro Detroit, Greater Hartford, Greater Los Angeles, and Greater Miami. Find your location’s tab under locations, above, and navigate to the “participating schools” section to see if you are located near one of our schools.

WHEN DOES THE PROGRAM TAKE PLACE? WHAT IS THE TIME COMMITMENT?
The Lunchtime Reading Program runs for 30 minutes at the school during the student’s lunch period, typically sometime between the hours of 11am-1pm. Reading Mentors attend sessions from roughly September through May. There are no reading sessions during school vacation times. Occasionally, lunchtime reading is cancelled by the school for school testing or other factors out of Read to a Child’s control.

HOW ARE THE CHILDREN SELECTED FOR THE PROGRAM?
Teachers refer specific students to participate because they are 1) behind their age group in reading proficiency; 2) would benefit from the attention of a caring adult; 3) and/or are likely not read to at home.

I’VE NEVER BEEN A READING MENTOR. WILL I RECEIVE ANY TRAINING?
Yes. All volunteers will receive instructions to complete an in person or online training, which usually takes less than an hour.

I’M BUSY AND TRAVEL FOR MY JOB. HOW CAN I PARTICIPATE?
The Lunchtime Reading Program is designed to be flexible and convenient, allowing busy professionals to volunteer. You may pair up with a colleague to be matched with the same student, alternating weeks. Also, if something important comes up, you can ask your School Coordinator if it is possible to switch your session to another reading day that week.

ONCE I JOIN THE PROGRAM, WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A QUESTION OR CAN’T MAKE IT TO MY SCHEDULED READING SESSION FOR THE WEEK?
A Read to a Child School Coordinator provides volunteer support at each school site. Contact your School Coordinator to ask questions or notify them that you need to cancel or reschedule your session for another day that week.

HOW DO I GET INVOLVED?
Navigate to your location’s main webpage from the dropdown under the Locations tab, above. Find the link to inquire or apply on your location’s main page. Please note that there are a limited number of individual volunteer opportunities in some locations or schools.

What are the primary goals of the Lunchtime Reading Program?

1.To generate children’s enthusiasm for books and reading
2. To improve children’s fundamental literacy skills
3. To increase children’s self-confidence through weekly attention from their mentors
4. To provide adults with a flexible, convenient, and meaningful volunteer experience
5. To bring community support and resources into public elementary schools