Early College Students on the Havelock Campus volunteered as “Reading Buddies” at the Craven Community College (Craven CC) and Havelock-Craven County Libraries (HCL) April 9-27. The Reading Buddies program matches 14 to 17-year-olds in the Craven Early College East High School program with children in preschool to grade 4. The teens – “Big Buddies” – share their enthusiasm for reading with “Little Buddies.” The Reading Buddies program was organized to encourage children to read books by sparking an interest in reading.
The idea originated with Early College Students Aryanna Griffin and Samantha Parrien, as well as Katherine Clowers, Craven CC/HCL librarian as a way to celebrate National Library Week.
“I was amazed at the eagerness and dedication of the young adults,” said Clowers. “Every day I had at least 12 teens ready to read. Initially, some of our young adults were volunteering to enhance their college application. The young adults might walk into the library looking tired or stressed from a long day at school, but after reading with a child they left with big smiles! They learned that giving to their community was fun! I am impressed with the teens who donated their time and encouraged a love of reading and made a difference. We hope to offer this program for three weeks to a month every semester, and have 12 families signed up for the fall.”