ReadingPals offers volunteers an opportunity to build meaningful relationships with young children in Florida, 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.

What Is ReadingPals?

ReadingPals is a statewide volunteer-based early literacy initiative that provides mentors for students from Pre-K through 3rd grade who may need extra help, utilizing one-on-one or small group settings.  The Heart of Florida United Way program focuses on students in Pre-Kindergarten at 11 locations in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole Counties.

What Is The Commitment?

ReadingPals volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum 30 minutes per week with their student(s) for 25+ weeks during the school year.

Where Is ReadingPals Available?

We offer VPK mentor programs in 11 schools throughout the area, including:

Orange County: Orlando Day Nursery, Winter Park Day Nursery, Azalea Park Learning Academy, Happyland Early Learning Academy, Three Points Elementary, Winegard Elementary, Shingle Creek Elementary, and Washington Shores Primary Learning Center

Osceola County: Central Avenue Elementary

Seminole County: Rescue Childcare of Sanford, and Kid City USA Lake Mary

What Do We Hope To Achieve?

MENTORING: To build genuine, impactful relationships between students and our volunteer mentors.

EARLY LITERACY: To improve students’ understanding of the fundamental building blocks of early literacy.

SOCIALEMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: To help students build a strong social-emotional foundation through self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

Why Is ReadingPals Important?

45% of children in Florida are not ready for Kindergarten and 43% of Florida students cannot read at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade. Additionally, studies show that children with mentors are more confident and have fewer behavioral problems. Early intervention and individualized attention gives students the best likelihood of success.

How Can I Get Started?

Volunteer button

Please click here to sign up as a volunteer.

What Else Can I Do?

ReadingPals volunteers see the importance of early education first-hand, and gain exposure to the challenges many teachers and students face in the classroom. We hope the ReadingPals experience will inspire our volunteers to become advocates alongside The Children’s Movement, promoting greater investment in Florida’s youngest children. Learn more at

ReadingPals is made possible by Publix Charities and The Children’s Movement
of Florida
Contact Us
407-835-0900407-835-0900 | |

Heart of Florida United Way, 1940 Cannery Way, Orlando, FL 32804

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