What better time than during this season of hope, joy and giving to announce that Reading Buddies are once again meeting in person with children across San Antonio. It has been well over a year and a half since the pandemic shuttered the schools and changed all our lives forever. But, because of a strong belief in our mission by the SAYL Board of Directors and supporters, our Reading Buddy Program has persevered. There were moments when walking away and calling it a day would have been the easy path to follow, but when we reflected on those moments with the kids, we knew that this program was worth fighting for. All of us would, if provided the opportunity, turn back the clock and eliminate the misery that Covid-19 has visited on the world. The only thing that would make it more tragic (if that is possible) would be if we had not learned from the experience. At SAYL, we have completely revamped our organizational model to streamline the way we do business without impacting the excellent program curriculum and delivery we provide.
Although it will be the 2022-2023 school year before we expect to reach pre-Covid-19 program strength, we have returned to 12 campuses, 10 in San Antonio ISD, 1 in North East ISD with more (Harmony Hills Elementary, Larkspur, Oak Grove Elementary, Regency Elementary) onboarding 2nd semester, and 1 in Northside ISD. We are also ready to start services and are recruiting for Reading Buddies at 6 new Northside ISD campuses. We are confident that our former Reading Buddies are anxious to reconnect. Listed below are the campuses currently ready for volunteers. We are not taking a Winter Break here at SAYL so if you are ready to relive the happiness that being a Reading Buddy provides, we will be available to get you ready to start when the students return for the second semester.
We know that some of you may still feel uneasy about returning in person to our partner schools and want you to know that we have made great strides in providing a virtual program as an alternative that will be offered in tandem with our person- to-person program. During the pandemic we developed a virtual program to provide services to students who were homebound. Now that most students have returned to school, we will be providing the online program to individual students from their classrooms during their independent reading time.
For those of you who have been patiently waiting, WE NEED YOU BACK! For those of you who have already returned, THANK YOU!
We have hope for the students we serve, we take joy in watching them grow as readers and in self-confidence. Your time, talents and treasures will support the children of San Antonio in their quest to learn-to-read so they may read-to-learn.
Campuses Currently Active – Receiving Volunteers
SAISD: NORTHSIDE: NORTH EAST:
Collins Garden Leon Springs Northern Hills
Hawthorne Allen Harmony Hills
Herff Carnahan Oak Grove
Hirsch Carlos Coon Regency
J.T. Brackenridge Martin Larkspur