At the Arden-Dimick Branch of the Sacramento Public Library, a new program called “Reading Buddies” has sparked the interest of young readers. Every Thursday from 2-3pm, the interactive Reading Buddies program gives young patrons an opportunity to expand their literary horizons.
“The goal of the program, first and foremost, is to encourage a lifetime love of reading,” says Chris Durr, Youth Services Librarian at the Arden-Dimick Branch. “We do that by pairing big buddies, which are teen readers, with little buddies, which are kids generally from 6-8, working on literacy skills. We get together for an hour and work on those literacy skills by practicing reading and playing reading games.”
The Reading Buddies program helps to prevent what is known as a “summer slide” between school years. Children can between lose one and three months’ worth of grade-level equivalency during the summer months, when they are away from school and are not facing literary stimulation.
However, with encouragement, it can be easy to help children avoid this summer slide.
“I [first] brought my son because he didn’t read well, and I thought the interaction with other people [could help],” says Cathy Yotter, parent. “I was reading to him last week, and he was really excited about it [reading] and couldn’t wait to come back here again.”
“It’s really fun reading to [the] kids,” adds Blythe Newton-Haynes, a “Big Buddy” and teen volunteer. “I think it’s good to have someone older who can help with reading. I mostly learned to read with having my parents read to me, and I
think this is good for kids who learn that way. I think it’s also good to just set aside something that’s specifically for reading and learning. It gives them a space where they’re not going to be judged.”
Reading Buddies program is a free community event that continues through July 31st. For more information, visit the Arden-Dimick Branch of the Sacramento Public Library.