Reading program needs volunteers to expand to other Spokane County schools

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — A lack of volunteers is keeping a local reading program from expanding to more schools in Spokane County.

The Spokane County Library District’s Reading Buddy program brings volunteers into elementary schools to read with students once a week.

Volunteer Jill Ericson joined the program as a way to give back to the community during her retirement.

“I was hoping to encourage little kids to read so that they can hopefully have a lifetime of reading,” Ericson said.

Ericson knows that one good book can change a life. That’s why she brought in a very special story to share with Krash and Marble Johnson at McDonald Elementary School.

“I brought one of my daughter’s favorite books from when she was young,” Ericson said.

Central Valley School District is one of five districts in the county with the program. But, the library district wants to expand. More people have to volunteer to make that happen though, according to a library district spokesperson.

Each volunteer must pass a background check, go through a special training and commit to visiting a school once a week for about eight weeks.

While Ericson can see that she’s teaching the kids she works with new things, she’s also taking something away at the end of the morning.

“I get way more out of this, I think, than the kids do,” Ericson said.

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