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  • 4 people are interested

Book Buddy

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United Way of Central Iowa

  • 4 people are interested

What is Book Buddy:

Book Buddy is a 1:1 reading program that pairs volunteers with preschoolers for regular reading. The caring adult reads aloud to the same student once or twice a week for 30 minutes.

Click here for a detailed program description, photos, and stories.

Last year we offered Virtual Book Buddy. Click here to watch videos of those volunteers in action.

Meet the requirements:

Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age, pass a background check (if 18+), and commit to at least one session per week.


Follow a few simple steps in the registration process, including, scheduling orientation and choosing a preschool site. Click on the links below to register.

Attend an orientation:

Meet staff and other volunteers, and learn more about being a Book Buddy.

Background check:

We ask volunteers that are 18+ years old to pay for their required background check for $15 via check to your center directly. If you have a financial barrier and need assistance, please contact Anna Schaber ( Mark your calendar:

Reading sessions are from 9:30 - 10:00 AM on weekdays. See below for each center's specific days. The program runs from October through April.

100 Acre Woods: Wednesdays

Bidwell Riverside Center: Tuesdays or Fridays

Capitol Park: Only Fridays Needed

CFI Child Development Center: FULL

Conmigo: Only Thursdays Needed

House of Mercy: Only Fridays Needed

Oak Academy: Only Thursdays Needed

Perry: Tuesdays or Thursdays

Wonder Years: FULL

Agree to COVID-19 protocols:

Each daycare location has its own COVID-19 precautions and policies in place. Before you sign up, make sure you accept their policies surrounding COVID-19.

We will keep volunteers posted on any potential changes made as we monitor the health and safety of everyone involved in the Book Buddy program.

Contact Anna Schaber with questions at or 515-246-2504.

1 Shift

  • morning / 09:30 AM to 10:00 AM
    Volunteers will read with students for 30 minutes at one of our partner childcare centers.

1 More opportunity with United Way of Central Iowa

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About United Way of Central Iowa


1111 9TH ST STE 100, DES MOINES, IA 50314, US

Mission Statement

OUR MISSION: Improve Lives By Uniting The Caring Power of Community. This is the compass by which we conduct all of our work, and the goal we strive to achieve.


United Way of Central Iowa's strategic focus for beyond 2020 introduces the new way our organization will establish standards, set goals, and measure progress in the community. UNITED to THRIVE will guide every strategic decision as United Way of Central Iowa aims to unite central Iowans to foster a thriving community - one that is equitable, engaged, and empowered.

Children & Youth
Education & Literacy


We'll work with your schedule.
This opportunity has 1 shift


Multiple locations Des Moines, IA 50314



  • Mentoring
  • Literacy / Reading
  • Child Development


  • Teens
  • People 55+


  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 16
  • Orientation or Training
  • 30 minutes every week until end of April.

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