Three years ago, Reading Buddies began connecting K-3rd grade students with high schoolers to improve literacy skills. Now, Reading Buddies can extend their reach to even more kids thanks to a very generous donation of $1 million.
Reading Buddies began in 2019 with only five volunteers. Now they are able to have over 40 thanks to Tom Lauer, a St. Francis Alumnus, and his wife Helene Lauer. They have chosen to donate $1 million dollars as philanthropists to the St. Francis De Sales School, the largest amount of money given to the school throughout the history of St. Francis.
“We are pleased that our investment allows the school to scale the impact of the Reading Buddies program by partnering with other organizations and address the problem of literacy among young children where our students can do the most good,” Tom said. “And we hope this experience encourages a commitment to service among St. Francis students where they can learn communication skills, patience, and empathy.”
This huge monetary donation has allowed the Reading Buddies program to reach out past their own community, thus creating branches in Waterville, Heatherdowns, and Sanger. Locals can attend the Toledo Lucas County Public Library location at 3900 King Rd. Each branch holds a Reading Buddies session from 2-3:30pm.
The St. Francis De Sales School encourages its K-3rd graders to attend the Reading Buddies program at any of its locations for the rest of July. Find the upcoming sessions here.