Teachers Page

I want a BookPALS volunteer in my classroom! What do I do?

The most positive results are seen in Title 1 classrooms that include a read aloud in the curriculum, maintain a consistent schedule, and demonstrate a cooperative attitude. Ideally BookPALS volunteers read one hour per week, in two assigned classrooms, consecutively, i.e. 9:00-9:25am, 9:30 – 9:55am.

If you are interested and able to host a BookPALS volunteer, please make a REQUEST today. A local Literacy Program Manager will contact you.

Potential volunteers are required to fulfill the following criteria, prior to placement:

  1. Interested and eligible performers complete a BookPALS volunteer application.
  2. A criminal background check is performed on all volunteers to maximize the safety of the students. All volunteers are cleared prior to placement.
  3. All potential volunteers attend a Reader Workshop hosted by a local Literacy Program Manager.
  4. Once a volunteer is trained, he/she will be assigned to a school for placement schedule.

Please visit Storyline Online, the Foundation’s children’s literacy website that streams imaginatively produced videos featuring celebrated performers.  Storyline Online is a free resource available 24 hours a day to parents, children and educators worldwide.

I have a BookPALS volunteer! What can I expect?

BookPALS volunteers are trained to perform a 30-minute, age-appropriate read aloud for each classroom. The reader will select books appropriate for your grade, preview material and prepare engaging questions for the audience. Volunteers are instructed to arrive at the school 15 minutes early to park, sign-in at the main office, find classroom and acclimate themselves to the space.

  1. During the read aloud, teachers are required to remain present and manage the behavior of the students.
  2. After the read aloud, teachers are encouraged to provide constructive feedback, as well as offer book suggestions that complement classroom curriculum.
  3. At the close of each semester, teachers are required to complete a short survey that evaluates the effectiveness and impact of the program for funding purposes.

I have a change in my classroom’s calendar. How do I re-schedule my BookPALS volunteer?

The Foundation knows that assemblies, parent-teacher conferences, testing, field trips and school holidays are inevitable. Despite our best intentions to maintain a consistent schedule, life has a way of getting in the way.  In the event of a conflict, first, notify the BookPALS volunteer and, if possible, reschedule for another day and time. Next, contact your on-site school coordinator to communicate the change in schedule.

I have unique classroom schedule. Can BookPALS volunteers read bi-monthly or monthly in my classroom?

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, teachers are encouraged to commit to 30-minutes a week for a minimum of 1-school semester. If your schedule does not allow for a regular commitment, please discuss with your on-site school coordinator. 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 can revisit the following semester.

Storyline Online is a great resource for classrooms that are challenged by a regular schedule.