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Be a Reading Buddy!

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July 26, 2017
Students in a local classroom are celebrating the Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency Reading Buddies program. The program is getting ready for the new school year.
Reading Buddies, a state-award winning Retired and Senior Volunteer Program that pairs first- and second-graders with volunteers, is getting ready for the new school year.
The Menominee-Delta-Schoolcraft Community Action Agency Program increases positive experiences and reading opportunities for children in the CAA three-county service area, according to CAA RSVP Director Sarah Cantrell.
The program, preparing for the upcoming school year, needs Reading Buddies at:
  • Bark River-Harris Elementary (Mondays, first and second grades, 12:30-2:30).
  • Cameron Elementary in Gladstone (Wednesdays, first and second grades, 9:15-10 and/or 10:15-11)
  • Rapid River Elementary (Thursdays, second grade, 1-2 p.m.)
  • Lemmer Elementary (dates and times to be announced)
A Reading Buddy spends 45 minutes to an hour a week with the students, reading to them while providing care, guidance and support, Cantrell said.
Seniors wishing to volunteer for the program should contact RSVP Coordinator Allison Derouin, 786-7080, ext. 112, or e-mail
RSVP provides opportunities for residents 55 and older to volunteer on a regular basis in a variety of nonprofit settings. RSVP is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and United Way of Delta County. 
“The Reading Buddies Program helps make these communities great places to raise children. At the same time, the program offers the opportunity for RSVP volunteers to work together, meet people from the community and help numerous students,” Cantrell said.
It’s all a big benefit for volunteers, she said.
 “Volunteering keeps volunteers healthier and happier. It puts them in touch with new faces, places and challenges. All we ask of our volunteers is their help,” Cantrell said.
Sarah Cantrell
Volunteers new to the program and all student participants at both schools receive a Reading Buddies T-shirt. An orientation/welcome dinner for volunteers takes place at each school. The volunteers are also invited to an end-of-school year picnic. Reading Buddies also receive volunteer supplemental excess auto liability and volunteer accident insurance.
In 2006, the local RSVP was honored by Michigan’s Promise – The Alliance for Youth for providing “ongoing relationships with caring adults, parents, mentors, tutors or coaches, offering youth-support, care, guidance and advocacy.”


   CAA has been offering a myriad of services since 1965. Its other services include Head Start, home-delivered meals, senior citizens centers, homemaker aides, promoting volunteer services for seniors, and Adult Day Services for those with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.