ReadingPals Program



ReadingPals is a school-based mentoring program that helps 4-year-old pre-kindergarten students build strong early literacy skills necessary for kindergarten success. 

ReadingPals offers volunteers the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children in Florida while helping them improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills. Managed by The Children's Movement of Florida, this program is offered across the state through 17 local United Ways and numerous community partners across the state. United Way of Escambia County has partnered with Every Child a Reader in Escambia (ECARE) to expand the local ReadingPals Program to 5 area schools. ReadingPals is made possible by the Barnett family, Publix Super Markets Charities, and The Children’s Movement of Florida.

During the 2017-18 school year, 245 volunteers served a total of 3,736 hours with ReadingPals, for a $90,187 impact on our community. Join us today as we prepare our students for a better future. Change won't happen without you! 



  • Mentoring: To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors. 
  • Early Literacy: To improve students' understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.
  • Social-Emotional Development: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 



200 volunteers are needed to serve one hour per week or 25 hours total with a student during the 2018-19 school year. ReadingPals volunteers will use themed literacy kits to engage independently with a student in age-appropriate learning activities.

Volunteers will receive mentor training and ongoing support. A Level II background screening paid for by United Way is required. Volunteers must be 18 years old, and smoke, tobacco, and nicotine free while serving as a ReadingPal. 



  • C.A. Weis Elementary School, 2701 N. Q Street (Q St. and St. Mary Ave.)
  • Global Learning Academy, 100 N. P Street (one block north of Navy and Pace Blvd. intersection)
  • McMillan Pre-K Center, 1403 W. St. Joseph Ave.
  • Montclair Elementary School, 820 Massachusetts Ave.
  • O.J. Semmes Elementary School, 1250 E Texar Dr.


Ready to volunteer?

Get connected today by emailing Have questions about the program? Contact Education Outreach and Volunteer Manager, Kristy Craig at or (850) 912-8176.