Important changes coming to the Highrock Network of Churches
The Haverhill Book Buddies Program partners 3rd grade students in our public schools with adult volunteers who serve as their individual book buddy. Over the course of the school year, each Book Buddy provides 3 books and 3 handwritten letters to their student buddy. Students write return letters for each book in a pen-pal type correspondence.
This program transfers a love of reading to 8 and 9 year olds at a critical time in their journey towards becoming lifelong readers and lets students know that someone in our community cares about their literary journey.
Reading is a foundational skill that impacts every area of our lives. For example, children reading on grade level by third grade are more likely to graduate high school and secure employment. Literacy is also an important step towards ensuring equity for students and provides critical skills for all students to thrive academically. By the end of 3rd grade the gap between strong readers and struggling readers becomes harder to close.
Three times during the year, Book Buddies select and purchase a developmentally appropriate book aligned with the interests of their student buddy, along with a handwritten letter about the book topic. The books are collected at drop off locations in Haverhill and delivered to classroom teachers by the Haverhill Book Buddies Team.
The Haverhill Book Buddies program promotes a positive association with literacy for 3rd grade students and is a safe, indirect way for community members to interact with students. The Haverhill Books Buddies Team provides ongoing support for teachers and volunteers. There is also no cost to schools but ultimately provides a tremendous benefit to students.