Our Programs

Our programs function in schools with a Title I Reading program (high percentage of students receiving free lunch).  There is no cost to participating schools or students.

Educators, activists and politicians have recently intensified their calls to expand access to quality early childhood education. But opening the doors to young children is only part of the solution, experts say, as economic and social factors have caused literacy gaps among low-income children to increase.

Our programs pull the community together with the educational system to ensure that literacy is a realistic goal for all children. We provide one-on-one tutoring and mentoring within the school system and in conjunction with the teacher and classroom to help children become successful readers. ReadStrong2000 programs teach children the value of reading and the benefits that come from being a good reader.

"Thank you for letting me be a part of Lunch Buddies. After spending the lunch period with my Buddy I feel like we have really accomplished something. I feel that my Buddy enjoys reading and it gives me a good feeling and also makes me feel useful. We both enjoy our time together." ReadStrong Volunteer


During the 2013-14 school year, ReadStrong 2000 served 18 2nd and 3rd grade students through our Lunch Buddies program at Rutherford Elementary School in the Central Dauphin School District.

The national average words correct per minute gain in one year for 2nd grade students is 47 words and for 3rd grade students is 40 words.
Our 2nd grade buddies averaged 69 words gained.
Our third grade buddies averaged 45 words gained.
Both grade levels had above average gains overall!

6 of 8 2nd grade buddies made an above average gain in number of words read and 
1 buddy almost doubled the gain!
4 of our 2nd grade buddies were within 10 words correct per minute of the benchmark goal!
2 of our second grade buddies showed running record results above grade level!

6 of 10 3rd grade buddies made an above average gain in number of words read.
3 of our third grade buddies showed running record results above grade level!

Rutherford Teachers ROCK!!
Lunch Buddy Volunteers are important team members!
Thanks for your dedication and support LUNCH BUDDIES!!


Lunch Buddies - Rutherford Elementary School, Harrisburg, PA

Lunch Buddies is the flagship program of ReadStrong2000.  Lunch Buddies began with second graders at Rutherford Elementary School in the fall of 2012.  This program pairs a volunteer reader with a student one day a week over the student’s lunch break.  The student eats as the pair talks about the week.  The volunteer reader may begin to read to the student as the student completes his/her lunch.  When the student finishes with lunch, he or she becomes the reader, either reading the same book or another book on his/her reading level.  Books are chosen by the students with direction from the volunteers.  As the second grade students moved into third grade, they remained with their same volunteers and a new group of second graders and volunteers began in the fall of 2013.  We are seeking volunteers for the incoming 2nd graders. A goal of this program is to keep a consistent adult in the life of the child.

Lunch Buddies is held October through May, on Tuesdays from 11:30 am to 1 pm.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.  Love of books is the best of all.” Jacqueline Kennedy

Breakfast Buddies

Second grade students will come to school 45 minutes before the start of the school day.  Children will pick up breakfast from the cafeteria and move to the reading area.  The program will run much like the Lunch Buddy program but will operate two days a week.

Breakfast Buddies will be held October through May, days of week to be determined, from 8 am to 8:45 am.

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” Margaret Mead

Tutor Time

Using the school’s benchmarking data, and in conjunction with a school team, including a reading specialist, a counselor and the classroom teacher, students will be selected to participate in the Tutor Time program based on their needs in one or more areas of reading instruction.  Employing research based methods of assessment and evaluation to pinpoint specific areas of need, a professional educator will develop individual goals for each student identified for the program.  Volunteers will be trained and guided in their tasks to gain the most impact within a one-on-one instructional setting.   Students in grades K, 1 and 2 will be targeted for this intervention.  (This age level was chosen for Tutoring in an attempt to develop skills before remediation is needed.) These students will be seen by a tutor three times a week. The amount of time that a student will spend during each work period will be dependent on the student’s grade level and may be adapted depending on individual differences and needs (focus, concentration, etc.)  Students will receive from 20-40 minutes of instruction per day.

Tutor Time is held during school hours on most week days from September to May.

“A book is the most effective weapon against intolerance and ignorance.” Lyndon Baines Johnson