Friends of the Children-Boston and KPMG partnered together in 2015 to create a monthly program called Reading Buddies. The program provides an opportunity for KPMG volunteers to build relationships with our Achievers through activities such as reading, playing games, and creating arts and crafts together. While the focus of the program is to engage the Achievers in reading and academic games, the relationships they form with their buddies are often more valuable. It creates opportunities for our Achievers to expand their network beyond Friends-Boston and helps Achievers learn how to connect with other supportive adults - a skill that doesn’t always come easy for our youth.
Victoria* started attending reading buddies in 2018 when she was in second grade. When asked for her thoughts about Reading Buddies, Victoria shared, “My favorite part of Reading Buddies is the friends. They’re the best buddies in the world. I would not change them if it was my choice.”
She also shared that, “It was sad not seeing them in person.” During the pandemic, our Achievers were able to continue meeting with their buddies virtually. Through monthly Zoom calls, Achievers listened to online stories and played virtual games with their buddies. This past year, Achievers and buddies were able to write postcards back and forth to each other. The Achievers loved receiving the postcards and being able to send responses back. However, many shared that their highlight of the year was finally seeing the buddies in person at our end of the year Reading Buddies celebration.
When asked about her buddy, Victoria shared that, “Kayla is the best. She was nice. She was my favorite reading buddy. I’m sad that I had to let her go.” Victoria will be moving up the adolescent cohort this summer and will no longer be participating in Reading Buddies, but hopes to be able to find ways to stay connected to her buddy in the future.