What is ReadingPals?

ReadingPals is a statewide early literacy initiative that provides volunteer mentors for students from Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) in Volusia County and VPK to 3rd grade in Flagler County, who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings.

The 3 Pillars of ReadingPals:

  1. MENTORING: To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors.
  2. EARLY LITERACY: To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.
  3. 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.

ReadingPals offers volunteers an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children, while helping them improve their social-emotional development and early literacy skills. ReadingPals is managed by The Children’s Movement of Florida and administered through 17 United Ways -- with the help of numerous community partners across the state.

ReadingPals is made possible through the generosity of the Barnett family and Publix Charities – and with the support of The Children’s Movement of Florida, United Ways, Women United, local school districts, Early Learning Coalitions, Children’s Services Councils, local libraries, and many other community partners.

"We so strongly believe that the future of our state rests in the hands and minds of our youngest that we have personally contributed to the launching of "ReadingPals" -- an early literacy initiative in ten Florida regions. Our goal is to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade." - Carol Barnett



The first step to becoming a ReadingPal is to Sign-Up!

In Volusia County, please contact Francine Martin at 386-253-0563 or 

In Flagler County, please contact Judy Mazzella at (386) 597-2950 or

Once trained, each volunteer will be required to work with up to 3 students two times a week for 30 minutes, or up to 6 students (two groups) for 60 minutes a week. Each of these 30 minute sessions will include the volunteer reading a book out loud, a literacy activity related to the book, and a volunteer-child conversation about the book.Volunteer Training: both Volusia and Flagler Counties will be using the Skills-based Educational Experiences Delivery System (SEEDS) curriculum. Each volunteer will be required to attend the curriculum training session. Each volunteer will also be required to meet all Volusia and Flagler County School volunteer requirements. Each volunteer will be required to sign a commitment form stating that they will volunteer for a minimum of 25 hours of student contact per child.

For more information on ReadingPals:

Flagler County - Please contact Flagler Volunteer Services at (386) 597-2950

Volusia County - Please contact United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties at 386-253-0563


Background Check

For Volusia County Volunteers - you must complete a Volusia County Schools Volunteer Application/Background check before you can start volunteering.  You will also need to bring your driver's license when you go to check in the first time.  CLICK HERE to start your application and background screening.