Rockin’ Reader program of Sarasota County School District seeking more volunteers to work with kindergarten students

Training session set for morning of Jan. 18 in Sarasota

Image from the TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council website

The Rockin’ Reader program of the Sarasota County School District, which provides adult volunteers to read aloud one-on-one with kindergarten students, is seeking more members of the public interested in working with children in that capacity, its leaders have announced.

“This rich and rewarding experience seeks to improve pre-literacy skills and instill the love of reading,” a news release explains. Each trained volunteer reads a book and talks about it with one student at a time for 30 minutes a week, the release adds. Every volunteer works with the same student throughout the school year, the release says.

This program is the primary initiative of the TeamUP Volunteer & Partnership Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established solely to provide manpower and funding to support volunteer and partnership programs in the Sarasota County District, the release adds.

The Rockin’ Reader program has been implemented in the district for the past 17 years, the release notes.

“Reading aloud is the single most important activity for building success in reading,” the release points out. “Conversation while reading the book leads to even more book-related words being heard and helps build the
child’s vocabulary. Including both elements improves the quality of the adult-child interaction,” the release notes.

A free training session for potential Rockin’ Reader volunteers will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at the Bay Haven School of Basics Plus, which is located at 2901 W. Tamiami Circle in North Sarasota, the release points out. Volunteers who complete the training may choose to work with Rockin’ Reader kindergarten students at Lamarque Elementary School in North Port or Bay Haven, Wilkinson Elementary or Gocio Elementary in Sarasota. No previous experience is necessary, the release says.

Masks are encouraged at the training session, the release says. For more information, email