Literacy Buddy Project is an early literacy PenPal program where volunteers, spanning from Sarasota to San Diego, help spread the seeds of literacy to hundreds of preschool children in Sarasota County who have little to no access to books at home or in their communities. Every year, the Early Learning Coalition matches volunteers with 3 year-old or 4 year-old children currently enrolled at preschools in Sarasota, Nokomis, Venice, Englewood and North Port.
Volunteers and children exchange drawings, letters and books three times during the school year. The goal? Build home libraries, enhance early literacy skills and teach children at a young age about correspondence and communication.
The ELC strategically targets preschools serving a high number of low income and foster care children. Together, we continue to fight the alarming fact that for every 300 children living in low income communities in America, there is only one book.
Literacy Buddy is a simple easy way to make a big impact. Anyone, anywhere, at any age can become a “Buddy.” All exchanges are done through the mail as volunteers can shop online and send books to either the ELC office or participating preschools. The program is very popular among seasonal residents, retirees, philanthropy groups, corporate teams and high school students working on Bright Futures service hours.
Interested in becoming a Buddy? Apply today!