Reading Buddy Program

 An astounding fact: All 13 of Danbury’s public elementary schools are Title I, meaning at least 50% of the students in the school qualify for free or reduced-cost meals. It also means that these same students face obstacles to learning that all too often prevent them from staying on course and performing at grade level.

In fact, a 2017-18 Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium results show that 46.4% of Danbury public school students in grades 3-8 scored at proficient or above in English Language Arts and 36.4% of students in the same grades scored proficient or above in math. Jericho is aiming to improve those numbers – and it is working. One example: Jericho brought its Reading Buddy program into one Danbury elementary school in Fall of 2017, when only 43% of its 5th grade students were reading at grade level. By Spring 2018, after just a few months with Jericho volunteers serving as Reading Buddies, 51% of that same student body was performing at grade level.

Jericho is currently in three public schools, with plans to be in 10 school by the fall of 2020, impacting upwards of 2,000 students.  Our goal: Partner with school administrators to reach at-risk students as early as possible in their academic career, providing them the support they need to be successful, for the common good of our city.

All this means we’ll need a small army of volunteer Reading Buddies. For launch in our three schools this coming October, we’re looking for at least 36 new volunteers! We’ll need additional Buddies as we expand to more schools.

Depending on what individual teachers need, Reading Buddies might:

·        read with or to a small group of students

·        work on reading, math or other lessons with students

·        work with kids who need extra help, or work with excelling students while the teacher spends time with those who are struggling

Our program runs Mondays through Thursdays, between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm, with specific hours varying from school to school. While we seek consistency from volunteers for the students’ sake, your volunteer schedule is up to you — from 2 hours/week to three hours a day/four days a week.

Interested in being a life-changer? Contact Dotsy Torres, CityServe Manager at (203) 794-2433 or at