Committed to providing positive, meaningful and effective literacy support for developing readers.


Committed to providing positive, meaningful and effective literacy support for developing readers.

Community Volunteers

Community volunteers can play an essential role in introducing a child to the joy of reading. Research emphasizes the importance of reading practice and the benefits of one-on-one reading experiences. Unfortunately, schools and libraries don’t have enough staff to provide the one-on-one reading support for every child. Community volunteers are a wonderful resource for providing positive and productive reading practice for children. The challenge is making sure that volunteers feel successful so they want to continue. Research shows that committed volunteers are the result of comprehensive training and well managed opportunities in which to volunteer.

Zirkel was created with community volunteers in mind! The game provides specific game play guidelines, written instructions and everything necessary to play the game. The Buddy Reading training provided for volunteers by Kids Read staff:  1) insures that volunteers can evaluate whether there is a match between their interests and playing Zirkel with a child, 2) highlights the impact that they can have on a child’s reading development, and 3) provides extensive training to be able to confidently play Zirkel. 

Training provided by Kids Read staff combined with the Zirkel game makes it easier for community service organizations to reach out to their community and provide reading support. As a result of a partnership with Kids Read, a community service organization simply needs to recruit Reading Buddy volunteers, coordinate scheduling, and provide a safe and comfortable space in which to read.

Volunteer reading buddies have played Zirkel with children in a variety of settings. Some examples include: a summer reading program located in a trailer park, an after-school program located in the clubhouse of a low income apartment complex, and an after-school program located in a church across the street from a Title One elementary school. When community service organizations partner with Kids Read the possibilities are endless.

Kids Read has trained Reading Buddy volunteers that have come from civic and faith based organizations, as well as university students. All of our reading buddy volunteers say that playing Zirkel with a child was a fun experience and reported that it was easy to learn how to play.

Here is what Reading  Buddy volunteers have said about Zirkel:

“The kids had fun and I had fun, too!”

“I saw positive change in the children I work with!”

“I think it allows children to learn to love reading.”

“The child and I were actively involved in the    
  process; and it was fun.”

“Reading becomes a team effort with child and Buddy  Reader working  together to try different  reading and  comprehension strategies.”

“I liked the structure.”

Here is what community service program coordinators have said about Zirkel:

"The Zirkel game encourages our students to read during our summer reading program. They are eager to come into the trailer where we have trained Reading Buddies and have their “reading” time. The students feel that they are playing a game while they are reading and it doesn’t feel like school. We have about 30-45 students coming to read twice a week for 30 minutes each time. We have been running a summer reading program for this trailer park for four years and this is the most successful attendance and reading involvement we have had.”

Laney Howard -  Lago Vista Trailer Park Loveland, CO

© 2016 Kids Read