Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

  • The Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading helps children from birth through 3rd grade, especially those from asset-limited families, succeed in life by ensuring that they read on grade level. The focus is on key solutions that impact a child’s ability to read, while strengthening support for children and families.

Volunteer for Literacy Programs

  • Every child deserves to be read to by a caring adult. Literacy volunteers are needed to help us facilitate a love of reading. Join one of these community programs to positively impact a child's life and help support their academic success. Volunteers may also be asked to play educational games with students based on phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and/or comprehension.

    Literacy Volunteers, click here for important information.
    These volunteer programs are not affiliated with the School District of Manatee County. All volunteers are recruited and trained by the respective community agencies. Please do not contact schools directly.

    Books for Kids
    Books for Kids is coordinated by the Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch.  

    Weekly Kindergarten Program
    Each week at the same day and time, volunteers (as a group) visit a classroom to work 1-1 with a Kindergarten student. Pre-selected books and lesson plans are provided for each session. Materials such as magnetic letters, art projects, and other activities are also provided to help make a connection to the book. At the end of the thirty-minute session, mentors give the student the book they read together to take home and offer some ideas for at-home shared opportunities. Building a love of reading, having fun with characters, and developing comprehension are some of the key goals.

    Monthly Program
    Once a month, volunteers visit classrooms at a time and date determined by the volunteer and the teacher. A pre-selected book and question sheet is given to the volunteer. The volunteer reads the book aloud and asks questions to foster discussion. At the end of the session, students (with the teacher’s guidance) select books of interest and get to take the books home. This program is available for first, second, and third grades.

    Weekly After School Assistance
    A parent will sign up and ask for a tutor during after-school hours. A volunteer will then contact the parent to arrange a time and place for the weekly session.

    Other volunteer opportunities are available, such as labeling and leveling books. Our goals are: 

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

    To register as a volunteer, please contact: 
    Rotary Club of Lakewood Ranch
    Ted Lindenberg
    (845) 304-5793

    ReadingPals is a coordinated effort by the Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County. ReadingPals, a statewide program designed by the Children's Movement of Florida, is a volunteer-based literacy initiative that provides mentors for kindergarten students. Volunteers dedicate 30 minutes a week for 25 weeks during the school year to meet with students and support a love of reading.

    To register as a volunteer, please contact:
    The Early Learning Coalition of Manatee
    Rachel Spivey
    (941) 757-2900 x2501

    Dive into Reading
    The Dive into Reading summer reading program, provided by Anna Maria Oyster Bar, aims to improve children’s reading levels and mitigate summer learning loss. Reading mentors meet an elementary student at a local restaurant once a week during June (total of 4 weeks). The pair enjoys breakfast, and then reads, reviews sight words and spends time together with positive mentoring.

    Anna Maria Oyster Bar

    Soar in 4
    Soar in 4 is a free parenting program that promotes early literacy. We encourage parents to be their child’s first literacy teacher. Parents learn how to read to their child, introduce rich new vocabulary and skills, connect with community resources and receive free materials. Soar in 4 focuses on 17 ALICE neighborhoods. Soar in 4 free family events are held at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature monthly. Demonstration tables are facilitated by teachers from the School District of Manatee County, non-profit organizations and volunteers. Every month a spotlight book is featured. All activities support PreK classroom learning.

    Soar in 4 StoryTime for Infants and Toddlers
    Held twice a month at Manatee County Public Library locations, families participate in a read aloud and learn how to support their child’s language development through activities and songs. Each family leaves with new materials and books to continue expanding vocabulary at home.

    Elizabeth Thompson
    School District of Manatee County
    Early Learning Family Engagement Specialist
    (941) 751-6550 x43049

    Soar in 4

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
    The Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County provide the children of Manatee County with a safe place to learn and grow, life-enhancing programs, character-building experiences, and hope and opportunity. Club members are offered daily access to a range of programs in 3 core areas: academic success, good character & citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Whether you are an individual interested in volunteering your time and talent, or a group looking to give back to the community, there are a variety of ways to get involved. Please visit for more information.

    Daughtrey Elementary  |  515 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
    DeSoto Boys & Girls Club  |  5236 30th St. W., Bradenton, FL 34207
    Manatee Elementary | 1609 6th Ave. E., Bradenton, FL 34208
    Oneco Elementary  |  5214 22nd Street Ct. E., Bradenton, FL 34203
    Palmetto Boys & Girls Club  |  1600 10th Street W., Palmetto, FL 34221
    Rogers Garden-Bullock Elementary  |  513 13th Ave. W., Bradenton, FL 34205

    Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County
    Robert Rogers | Volunteer Coordinator
    941-761-2582 x109

    Hope4Communities helps ensure that children are prepared for school. The Day4Hope initiative provides homeless and in need children in Manatee County with a back-to-school event on local church campuses. Participating schools recommend students to attend the summer event. Each child receives a medical exam, eye screening, child and family portrait, personal care bag, gift cards for clothes and shoes, dental exam/cleaning instruction, haircut, backpack, school supplies and much more. Hope4Communities partners with local churches to mentor the student and their family year-round. Aligned with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, the partner church supports parent success by focusing on a holistic approach of support to improve student academic outcomes. To learn more, please visit

  • Volunteer reading mentors are crucial to early literacy efforts.

Thank You For Volunteering

Virtual Volunteer

Becoming a Reading Mentor

English Language Learners

Exceptional Student Education

Youth Empowerment Solutions (YES)

Volunteer Demonstration: Three-Read Fluency

Volunteer Demonstration: Interactive Read Aloud

Volunteer Demonstration: Word Sort

Dive Into Reading 2021