Be a PAL!

How BookPALS Works

The success of BookPALS is contingent on the communication, collaboration and cooperation among the following parties:

  • The BookPALS Reader
    • Commits to a partnership with the school and BookPALS (minimum of 1-semester)
    • Trains for and prepares an age-appropriate read aloud for each classroom
    • Performs weekly, 30-minute read aloud in 2-consecutive classrooms
    • Communicates with teacher and maintains regular schedule
    • Completes mandatory program survey at the close of each semester
  • The Teacher
    • Commits to a regular schedule with BookPALS (minimum of 1-semester)
    • Manages the behavior of students during class read aloud
    • Offers book suggestions that are great for your class and/or that complement classroom curriculum
    • Completes mandatory survey each semester of participation to support program funding
  • The School
    • Commits to a partnership with BookPALS for the duration of the school year
    • Agrees to opening classrooms to scheduled volunteers
    • Provides easy communication channels to coordinate volunteer placement
    • Communicates any changes in need with the Literacy Program Manager
  • The Literacy Program Manager
    • Commits to a partnership with the school for the duration of the school year
    • Recruits, screens and trains readers for classroom read aloud
    • Communicates with school for new reader placement
    • Manages volunteer placement and schedules
    • Maintains open communication with classroom teachers
    • Administers brief program survey every semester to measure impact

Who can volunteer with BookPALS?

  • SAG-AFTRA union members and/or Actor Equity Association performers
  • Union members available for one hour a week during the typical school BookPALS read in two assigned classrooms, consecutively, i.e. 9:00-     9:25am, 9:30 – 9:55am.
  • The most successful volunteers are those with:
    • A genuine interest in youth development
    • A practiced commitment to reading aloud
    • A cooperative attitude and strong communication skills
    • A willingness to attend training workshops
    • A consistency in volunteer schedule


What happens if I am unavailable to read regularly every week?

Research proves that reading aloud regularly to a child improves listening comprehension skills, builds a capacity for critical thinking, increases vocabulary and context knowledge and sparks a positive association with reading. To deepen our impact, BookPALS volunteers are encouraged to commit to 1-hour a week for a minimum of 1-school semester. If your schedule does not allow for a regular commitment, please discuss with your local Literacy Program Manager.  Literacy Program Managers will determine options that are consistent with our mission and funding guidelines. Should BookPALS not be a good fit for you at this time, we will hold application materials for one year.

I am an eligible volunteer, how do I get started?

  1. Eligible volunteers complete an online volunteer application via BookPALS Volunteer Portal.

Click HERE to get started!

  1. A criminal background check is performed on all volunteers to maximize the safety of the students.  All volunteers are cleared either by the Foundation or local school district prior to placement. You will receive notification once your application has been approved.
  1. Potential volunteers are required to attend a Reader Workshop hosted by your local Literacy Program Manager.
  1. After attending a Reader Workshop, your local Literacy Program Manager will assign you to a school and assist with a placement schedule.