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Young readers needed for Reading Buddies program

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The Tillsonburg branch of the Oxford County Library is moving forward with its new Reading Buddies program, which will match teen and adult volunteers one-on-one (virtually) with young children to practice their reading.

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“We have volunteers – Merley (Wheaton) and I have been interviewing all week,” said Holly Brown, Literacy and Innovation Specialist at the Tillsonburg branch of the Oxford County Library.

Now the Tillsonburg library is looking for families who would like their children to be paired virtually with a volunteer.

“We’re seeking families with children from Grades 1-4, and children who are struggling or reluctant readers to participate in the virtual Reading Buddies session,” said Brown.

The eight-week program will be available on the Zoom online platform from April 27 to June 15th, weekly on Tuesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We have a wide range of volunteers. We have retired school teachers and guidance counsellors to high school students needing their community service hours.”

The 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. time slot is a popular one, said Brown, allowing parents to work on dinner while the children are reading on a Zoom call with library volunteers.

“If families are interested in participating in the program they can either contact Merley Wheaton (librarian at the Tillsonburg branch, Oxford County Library 519-842-5571), or they can contact me (email If they’re interested, we can send them an online application form where they can share some of the child’s interests… so we know how best to help the child. And also to find the best volunteer to pair with their child.”

Participating families will need internet access with a laptop or tablet with a web camera.

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