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Book Buddies regret leaving

Tears and hugs filled the library of Pinedale Elementry as high school volunteers said good-bye to their young Book Buddies.

“It was so sad,” Sarah McComb, ’04, said. “When I told my Book Buddy, Mercedes, we were not coming back next week, she started to cry.”

Emotional bonds were formed between reader and buddy during the weekly Book Buddies meetings at Pinedale Elementary school.

“My buddy and I got along well,” Corrine Pogue, ’06, said. “At first, it was a little difficult to get to know him because he was so shy. But he got comfortable around me quickly.”

Book Buddies is an organization to help children who struggle with their reading skills. After students completed the eight-week program, some children seemed to gain confidence with their own reading skills.

“By the end of the eight weeks, my buddy felt more comfortable reading out loud,” Pogue said. “I guess he also felt better with his reading in general.”

While many may have participated in Book Buddies simply to get community service hours out of the way, others found the experience memorable and inspiring.

“I would be lying if I said that part of the reason I participated in Book Buddies was not for community service,” Josh Wright, ’05, said. “It was also a great chance to influence a child.”

The children’s book choices often included stories written by the same author, including Clifford, Arthur, and other series.

“My buddy loved to read a lot of Clifford and Arthur books plus a bunch of other stories,” Wright said. “It was fun reading the books I used to read to him. We joked and had a lot of fun together.”

There are some students who express interest in participating in the program again.

“I think Book Buddies is a great program because the kids in it do not get to have people to read and love them everyday,” Seth Fisher, ’04, said. “I would love to do Book Buddies again so I could see my buddy Armundo again.”

Positive feedback encourages students to return to the program next year.

“I think it would be great for the school to do Book Buddies again next year,” Fisher said. “The kids love you and get so excited to see you every week.”

For other information on Book Buddies, go to and read the Jan. 14, 2004, article, “”Local Book Buddies combats illiteracy,”” by Chris White, ’05.

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