United Way Reading Buddies

Do you enjoy reading? Do you love working with kids? Would you like to make a difference in the community?

United Way Reading Buddies is for you!

United Way Reading Buddies program partners community volunteers with young student readers. Through reading, this program aims to develop students’ language and literacy skills, exposing them to new concepts, and helping to create lifelong readers.  In partnership Elementary Schools in the Iowa City School District,  Clear Creek Amana and West Branch, there will be opportunities with various ages and volunteer times.

Volunteers will have the chance to watch a student grow in their reading capabilities and know that they helped them achieve those goals. In that and many other ways, Reading Buddies is rewarding for both the student and the volunteer!

To become a Reading Buddies volunteer, you must fill out the form below, complete an Iowa criminal history check, and attend a 1-hour training orientation.

Reading Buddy Volunteers will begin working with students this fall.

Responsibilities of a Reading Buddies Volunteer:

  • Maintain a regular schedule with your student buddy
  • Share any stories that you have, regarding your time with your student buddy, for the newsletter
  • Attend a 1 hour training session, complete an application, and complete a background check

Training for Volunteers will cover:

  • Goals and Strategies of Reading Buddies
  • Model reading, tips and strategies for reading to young students
  • The resources available to volunteers


  • Self-motivated with a degree of flexibility
  • Willingness to be patient as students tackle reading
  • Possess a friendly personality

Time Commitment:

  • 4 hours a month (1-hour reading session weekly) for at least 6 months


  • See first hand the growth of young readers
  • Gain valuable experience and acquire leadership skills
  • Encourage the fun of reading

 **A Criminal Background Check is required to volunteer in schools.**

Thanks to our friends at United Way of Erie County in Erie, PA for providing use of the Reading Buddies logo developed by their organization.

Volunteer Sign-up

We are accepting volunteer applications but we will not have availability of sites for 2022-2023 school year until school districts release their plans for allowing volunteers in the elementary schools.

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