Who We Are

ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for kindergarten students who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings. ReadingPals offers volunteers an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children in Florida, while helping them improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills. ReadingPals is designed by The Children’s Movement of Florida and administered through 17 United Ways — with the help of numerous community partners across the state.

Why is ReadingPals Important?

In 2022, 50% of children in Florida are not ready for Kindergarten and 47% of students cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade. Early intervention and individualized attention gives students the best likelihood of success. Studies show that children with mentors are more confident and have fewer behavioral problems.

What Do We Hope to Achieve?

  1. MENTORING: To build a love of reading through impactful relationships between students and mentors.
  2. EARLY LITERACY: To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.
  3. SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

What We Do

For 30 minutes to 1-hour each week, a ReadingPals volunteer spends time with a pair of kindergartners, reading a book, completing activities, and developing skills that the children will need for success in school.  Each child participating in the ReadingPals initiative also receives at least ten books to help build their home library. 

What Else Can I Do?

ReadingPals volunteers see the importance of early education first-hand, and gain exposure to the challenges many teachers and students face in the classroom. 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

Volunteer Information:

If you are interested in becoming a ReadingPals Volunteer, sign up here

Columbia County Volunteer Online Signup 

Suwannee County Volunteer registration form.

ReadingPals Coordinator

386-752-5604 Extension 104

Hamilton Volunteer Application