RSVP Center launches Reading Buddies in Essex County schools

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties is launching a Reading Buddies program, which will connect volunteers age 55 and older with elementary school students in Essex County.

Reading Buddies seeks to introduce the love of books and increase the literacy of young children. Early literacy is linked with academic achievement, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life.

“Reading Buddies is a unique program that connects children and volunteers through the love of reading. The older adults read to the children every week within the classroom setting,” RSVP program manager Rebecca Silverstein said in a press release.

The program has shown to be very effective in helping to increase literacy, reading comprehension and understanding in kindergarteners, first-graders and second-graders.

Reading Buddies is actively seeking volunteers interested in spending one hour per week reading books to elementary school students at the Mount Pleasant School in West Orange, the Lincoln Avenue School in Orange and the South Mountain Elementary School in South Orange/Maplewood. The program is also continuing to expand its list of participating schools. If you are 55 or older and interested in learning more about becoming a Reading Buddies volunteer, contact Silverstein at 973-637-1761 or