Posted on Jul 27, 2018
As the first Club activity of the new Rotary year, Club members joined Club President Sundra Lee Ingemanson and volunteers from other community organizations at the Riverfront Library in downtown Yonkers to participate in the JCY-Westchester Community Partners-sponsored  Summer Reading Buddies program.
 
The Reading Buddies program is a valuable and valued intergenerational initiative that helps youngsters improve their reading skills, and supports parents with guidance and life skills. The program's theme this year is "Reading Rocks".  It runs for six weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in July and August at the Riverfront Library and at the Mount Vernon Public library. Riverfront Library Administrator and Club Member Sandy Amoyaw says more than 250 volunteers will be reading with more than 1100 children. Club President Sundra Lee-Ingemanson, Past District Governors Greg Arcaro and Matts Ingemanson, District Governor Nominee and Past President Mahbub Ahmad and Club Rotary Foundation Chair Bina Ahmad represented the Club, reading to the kids.. 
 
There have also already been visits from guest readers – Mayor Mike Spano, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Hon. Benjamin Boyton, Yonkers Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Edwin Quezada, among others, and members of Con Edison, which is a sponsor of the Summer Reading Buddies Program.
 
Volunteers are paired with children in kindergarten through grade six who go to the library for help with their summer reading list, which is assigned by their school.  Volunteers work with several children during each two-hour session. The children select a book and then are matched up with a volunteer. After introductions, the “buddies” find a spot where they work together for 20 minutes. The volunteers encourage the student to read, and help with specific words, pronunciation and comprehension. When they finish the book, the volunteers help the child complete a worksheet.
 
While the children are reading, their parents attend workshops on life skills offered through partner organizations.  The program has been a success at both locations and is highly anticipated every year as evidenced by the long lines of parents and children waiting for the Library to open Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
 
The libraries give out “passports” to every child who registers for Summer Reading Buddies and each child gets a stamp on his or her passport for each day attended. 
 
The primary sponsor of the Program is the JCY- Westchester Community Partners.  Their  mission is to enhance the educational experience of children in Westchester County through effective learning initiatives and the engagement of volunteer mentors. The Yonkers Libraries provide the venue, the reading materials and supervision.  The Rotary Club of Yonkers-East Yonkers has been a reading Partner of this program for a number of years.
 
    
 
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