Lakeside Reading Program Needs “Buddies”

By Beacon Staff

In its ninth year of operation, the Lakeside Elementary Reading Buddy program is lacking volunteers.

“We have 7, we need at least 24,” says program coordinator Tracy Lost-Bear. He’s heading up the program through Flathead Valley Community College’s Americorps program.

Mentors are asked to donate 30-minutes, one day a week, and either work with a group of kids or one-on-one. Students range in age from 2nd to 5th graders. Volunteers read to the kids, have them read, and just listen – all in the effort to improve the students reading skills and confidence.

“Sometimes kids just need to talk,” says Lost-Bear. He says they welcome moms, grandmothers, sisters and aunts, but that they also need some men to get involved.

“Men are so NOT volunteers in schools,” he notes, “when you get a male in the school, the kids are just enthralled.”

Volunteers get to pick which day works best. The first session ends December 19th, just before the school holidays, and pick up until school gets out in the spring. For more information, contact Tracy Lost-Bear during daytime hours at 756-3917, in the evenings at 257-5635, or email at [email protected].