Reading buddies share their love for books with local kids |

Reading buddies share their love for books with local kids

summit daily news
Special to the Daily/Mary Anne Johnston

SUMMIT COUNTY – When reading buddy Marcia Holub began working with first-graders at Dillon Elementary School, she fell in love with the process. She now spends all her free mornings helping young children practice their reading, spelling and pronunciation skills.

“I feel like I’m making a difference,” Holub said. “It’s gotten into my blood. I just can’t wait to go every week.”

To improve literacy within local elementary schools, the Rotary Club of Summit County is organizing volunteers to pair up with children one-on-one to practice reading and writing skills. Reading buddies develop relationships with their students, help select reading material, offer encouragement and support to kids struggling with literacy, and they assist their students in finding meaning in the material being read.

The Rotary’s literacy chairman Mary Anne Johnston said this new program – which takes place at all Summit School District elementary schools – is already making a difference.

“We’re working with shy students or those who may be having difficulty reading,” Johnston said. “It’s mainly younger kids.”

The program started in November 2009, and it’s always seeking more volunteers. There is no age requirement to be a reading buddy, and the time commitment varies, Johnston said.

Holub, who’s working with two separate teachers at Dillon Elementary, started out volunteering once a week last November. Now she’s going as much as her schedule allows, and every visit her work is “just a little bit different.” The children mostly read to her, and Holub said she finds the second-language learners to be “amazing” in their progress.

“These kids are wonderful,” she said. “They’re just delightful.”

For more information, call Johnston at (970) 468-8922 or e-mail her at

Caitlin Row can be reached

at (970) 668-4633 or


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