Credit: Credit: Charlottesville City Schools
Book Buddies, a tutoring program created in Charlottesville City Schools which has since spread across the state and nation, is turning 25 this spring. Organizers will celebrate with a reception on May 10 from 4-6pm at the Carver Recreation Center (233 4th St NW). Past volunteers, teachers, parents, students — and others who have supported or participated in the program — are welcome to attend.

“We can add up the years of reading intervention (25) and the number of hours volunteered each year (3,000 or more) but there’s no way to measure the program’s positive impact. It is a huge contribution of time and talent,” notes Jeanette Rosenberg, Book Buddies Coordinator.

Originally established in Charlottesville City Schools, the model was developed by U.Va. Curry School of Education professor Marcia Invernizzi. The Book Buddies concept was documented in Invernizzi’s book of the same title, and the program has attracted widespread national attention at reading conferences, in professional journals, and in schools across the country that now use the model. The Book Buddies Program was the recipient of the Virginia State Reading Association’s 1997 Literacy Award. 

Book Buddies is a research-based one-on-one tutorial program that supports reading instruction in the classroom. It enlists trained community volunteers to provide instruction to selected first and second grade students. The school division’s  staff work with the volunteers, providing individualized lesson plans for each tutoring session. Data shows that participating students make significant gains in instructional reading levels. Most students reach their end of year grade level goals in reading. 

“We can’t thank our volunteers enough for their support! They contribute 50 or more hours of instruction annually, but what really stands out is their commitment to return to help students year after year. At Greenbrier Elementary alone, we have 5 volunteers who have each worked with us anywhere from 10 to 24 years!” adds Rosenberg. “If anyone knows of past volunteers, participants, or contributors to the program, we hope you’ll pass along news of the celebration so that we can thank everyone who has made the program such a success.”
“We thank our volunteers, we thank Dr. Invernizzi for her expertise, and we thank the BookBuddies staff for their leadership of this program,” states Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent of Charlottesville City Schools.

To learn more about the reception or the Book Buddies program, contact Jeanette Rosenberg at 245-2415.