Reading Buddies celebrates 20 years
Twenty years ago, Lincoln County Association for Home and Community Education (HCE) members took a leap of faith, thinking they could start a reading program that would provide free books to young children in Lincoln County who did not own books of their own.
Members Betty Anne Tubbin and Jeri Bloechl spearheaded the program, raising the funds needed to get the program off the ground. Their intent was to promote the joy of reading through positive adult mentoring and to help establish home libraries for children.
Today this program is known as Reading Buddies whose motto is “Share a book, shape a future.” Thanks to the generosity of community organizations, businesses and individuals, Reading Buddies has been able to provide free books to preschool children attending MAPS Pine River School for Young Learners (PRSYL), Parkside Preschool and Tomahawk Head Start for each of the past 20 years.
Numbering around 70, the Reading Buddy volunteers visit school sites monthly from October through May to read with small groups of children and give each child their own copy of the book to take home. Each year, every child receives a box of new crayons and a pair of hand made mittens that are knit by local volunteers.
If you would like to volunteer with Reading Buddies, please contact the UW-Extension Office at 715-539-1072.