Reading Buddies

The Reading Buddies program for children

Click below to see a video about Reading Buddies, created by CU's Dr. Kayann Short, one of the partners who makes Reading Buddies possible. [Requires Quicktime player.]


Check out this video created about the BoulderReads! Reading Buddies program at Columbine Elementary School (conducted in partnership with the Boulder Valley Family Literacy Program). The video was created by a group of CU students in Petger Schaberg's Program for Writing and Rhetoric at CU Boulder.


Reading Buddies

  • Is free
  • Serves children with reading problems, from first grade to 14 years old;
  • Serves children of adult literacy students first, the general public second; see admissions policy [12 KB PDF]
  • Utilizes big buddies from CU, matched one-on-one to little buddies
  • Meets 1.5 hours per week for 13 weeks, fall and spring semesters;
  • Involves big buddies reading to their little buddies and doing extension activities with them
  • Has sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4:30-6 p.m.
  • Has two different meeting locations: the Main Branch Library and the Meadows Branch Library;
  • Increases children's interest in books and reading;
  • Is fun!

Quotes from little buddies about their big buddies

"I like it 'cause its fun and I like Fred, also 'cause I learn a lot.
I like to read a lot of interesting books to. "
"I think it is fun. It is educational. I have truly succeeded in my reading, which is very important in life. I have made a friend in college, which is really hard to make because they are older than me. My buddy is the coolest college student I have met (besides my mom)."

What parents like about Reading Buddies

"It combines reading with fun activities, a relaxed structure. Love the library environment and the (big) buddies are great role models and neat young people." Unsigned
"My daughter was having difficulty with reading. She's a second grader. Towards the end (of Reading Buddies) we all noticed that things started turning around for her and her reading has greatly improved. I feel this program was a very positive reinforcement for her and encouraged her to keep trying and have fun reading and writing." Susan
"The youngest of my three sons is a ten year-old fourth grader at Foothills Elementary School who has struggled with school and especially reading. I want to relate a voicemail I received last week from the special education teacher that will give you an idea how valuable the Reading Buddies program has been for him. She called to let me know that he had just completed the informal end of the year reading test and he tested to the sixth grade level in both narrative and expository reading with very good comprehension. When he started Reading Buddies he was well below grade level in reading. He tested not at his current level, but two grades above!! As one of Colorado Avalanche TV announcers says when an Av scores a goal, 'Thank you, thank you, thank you!!' " Stuart
"My children, two sons, have participated in this program since last fall session. After taking part in this program, they became interested in reading books and enjoyed going to the library. Their reading buddies provided them with lots of interesting activities as well as reading books. They helped my children improve their reading skills and creative thinking skills. I hope this program will be lasted for a long time and help a lot of children be interested in reading books. Thank you for providing Reading Buddies for my children." Kyung
"My daughter had always had trouble settling down and reading a book for long periods of time. She was never interested or engaged enough to finish the books, which we basically had to force her to read. But after a couple sessions of BoulderReads!, we found that her enthusiasm for reading had increased a lot. She always looked forward to going to the buddy group and always asks us to take her to the library. She enjoys reading so much more and it is no longer a fight for us to get her to read. She reads half-an-hour to an hour each day now. It makes my husband and me so proud to see her doing so much better in school and reading so much more fluently. The group was definitely very helpful to my daughter and I would recommend it to other families whose kids are struggling with reading." Lisa

Reading Buddies is made possible by:

  • A grant from the Boulder Public Library Foundation
  • In-kind support from the University of Colorado
  • In-kind support provided by big buddy volunteers from CU's Farrand Academic Program and Linguistics 1000

Find out how to enroll a Reading Buddy.