April 15, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Seeks  Volunteers for Reading Buddies Program

The RSVP Center of Essex and Hudson Counties is currently accepting volunteers for its Reading Buddies program, which connects volunteers age 55+ with elementary school students in Essex County. The program is now expanding to the Washington Elementary School located at 289 Main Street in West Orange. RSVP volunteers will be reading to children in first and second grades each week. Principal Marie DeMaio stated that the “Washington School is happy to welcome the Reading Buddies Program to our school this fall.”

Reading Buddies seeks to introduce the love of books and increase literacy, reading comprehension and understanding in young children in grades K-2. Early literacy is linked with academic achievement, higher graduation rates and enhanced productivity in adult life. Volunteers age 55+ read to the same small group of students each week throughout the school year using a read-aloud format that supplements the school’s regular reading curriculum. Strong intergenerational bonds are formed through this program.

Reading Buddies is actively seeking volunteers interested in spending one hour per week reading books to elementary school students at the Washington Elementary School in West Orange, the Mount Pleasant School in West Orange, the Lincoln Avenue School in Orange and the South Mountain Elementary School in South Orange/Maplewood. If you are 55 or older and interested in learning more about becoming a Reading Buddies volunteer, please contact Julie Cramer, LSW, who oversees the program, at 973-637-1761 or [email protected]. Training will be offered for new volunteers in early September.

The Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Center for Essex and Hudson Counties is sponsored by Jewish Family Services of MetroWest New Jersey and in collaboration with the United Way of Hudson County. It is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) as part of Senior Corps. RSVP, established in 1971, is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people 55 and over with 269,000 volunteers across the nation. RSVP taps the rich experience, skills and talents of adults age 55+ to meet the needs and challenges of local communities all across America by placing volunteers in local agencies.

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