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What is Reading Pals?

Reading Pals is a community based, non-profit literacy program in Chico, CA. We have reading programs on 7-elementary school campuses. Refer to the volunteer application for a full list of schools, times and program days. Reading Pals is a program of the North Valley Community Foundation located at 240 Main Street in Downtown Chico.

How do I sign up to be a Reading Pal?

Click the ‘Home’ button and then click the orange ‘Volunteer’ banner. Fill out all of the appropriate fields on the application. Then click submit. You will get another chance before the form is sent to make any changes.

What is a Livescan?

A Livescan is a simple background check, conducted by the Chico Unified School District human resources department (no-cost).

Once your fingerprints are taken, the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigations will send the results back to the Chico Unified School District HR department. You do not have to repeat this process, so if you have already have been processed by the CUSD there’s no need to go back to do it again.

What is a TB test?

TB is an acronym for Tuberculosis- a bacterial infection usually affecting the lungs or respiratory tract and is spread by coughing or sneezing. The test consists of completing a questionnaire with the Chico Unified School District nurse to rule-out exposure to the bacteria.If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions, you will need to complete a PDD skin test.

Enloe Medical Center will complete a PDD skin test for Reading Pal volunteers at no cost. Your first visit will consist of a serum placed between the layers of your skin on the forearm area. You will wait 36-72 hours, then return to have your skin test read by a nurse or doctor.

The PDD skin test is valid for 4-years. We will accept a previous TB test if it is up-to-date.

What should I expect at an Orientation?

A Reading Pals orientation is a 30-45 minute meeting with Katie Good (Volunteer Coordinator) to introduce you to the materials and more! Most of the time, you will meet at the school you signed up for, and will convene on the day/time you’re available. The orientations are typically 1-on-1, unless you’ve RSVP’d for a group orientation (beginning of school year in Aug./Sept.). You do not have to bring anything to the orientation and you can expect to learn how the program was started by the community and how to conduct your reading sessions with your students. The learning never stops, the orientation is only the beginning!

What should I expect to do as a Reading Pal?

Reading Pals read 1-on-1 with 2 students for 30-minutes each (minimum requirement) for a semester. All students enrolled in Reading Pals come to read twice per week with a volunteer. Consistency is key, you will be working with the same students every week in order to gain insight and understanding of what will motivate them to read outside the classroom. Children do best with a consistent, positive adult.

What is a Site Coordinator?

A Site Coordinator is a credentialed teacher, equipped with tools to support you and your students while they are enrolled in Reading Pals. Site Coordinators help choose students that will fit the program, and can also provide insight to the students’ learning habits and reading progress. They act as a liaison between you and the school. Site Coordinators can supply extra materials, or activities should you need it. They are an invaluable resource and are there anytime you need help.

How are the students chosen to be in the Reading Pals program?

We have many ways of making sure a student is the right fit for the program. Mainly, we look for how many months the student is behind in reading. If they are between 6 months and 2 years behind their respective grade level, they are a good candidate. None of the students have learning delays to prevent them from learning how to read. The students in the reading program benefit from your consistent visits and personal motivation to read.

How can I donate books or funds to Reading Pals?

1.) Drop off the books at our downtown office (240 Main St. Suite 260 95928).
2.) Use this website to donate any amount of funds. Click ‘GIVE’ in the top-right corner of this web page.
3.) Call (530)588-0119 to set up a time to meet about a donation or book give-away.
4.) Donate books directly to the Site Coordinator at your school.

All students have the option to choose a book when they attend Reading Pals. Unlike a library, students have the opportunity to pick a book and take it home to KEEP. By the end of the school year, children will have collected enough books to build their own library to encourage reading in the home.