FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A group of teenagers and adult mentors work to make sure elementary students in Allen County don’t slack up on their reading during the summer. Team Read is a program that has been offered by the Allen County Public Library for the last ten years.
“What we do is we hire 30 teens to work all summer long for the library,” said Marra Honeywell, Youth Services Manager at the library. “They go to parks and other centers and libraries throughout the city and they read with kids. But that’s just part of the program because we also provide these teens with really essential job experience so they’re learning how to fill out their time card, how to call in, how to show up on time, how to put together a resume, how to interview. We’re making sure they’re prepared for the real world.
Ayana McClendon and Sarah Handschy are two of the teens on the team. “I want to either do early childhood education like preschool or early elementary education, kindergarten through third grade,” said McClendon.
“I feel like we’re bridging the gap between school years to help the kids with their literacy skills,” said Handschy. “You just start to grow a bond with them and you become attached to them.”
Team Read is sponsored by the Foellinger Foundation. “Every kid that our teens get to see gets a free book every single time they come to this program,” said Honeywell. “Last year we gave out over 4,000 books and the Foellinger Foundation funded all of it.”
This summer’s Team Read just wrapped up but the Allen County Public Library is looking to hire readers for next year. You can get more information on the program by going to the Allen County Public Library’s website.