Be A Reader is roaring back into schools

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Other News

The BeAR program started 2022 with plenty of questions, as volunteers were still not permitted in the schools.

Calls to BeAR schools with offers to help resulted in many schools requesting supplies, reading and writing games, and books. They also asked for the BeAR volunteers to create video recordings of mentors reading the books that the program provided. Accepting the challenge, BeAR happily provided school supplies, prizes for school treasure chests, and so many educational games, including Scrabble Jr., Monopoly Jr., and Bananagrams. The reading videos that were created for some of the books began the “great and spectacular BeAR Read-Along.”

Summer school, while still in quarantine, involved new opportunities, as well as new challenges. BeAR adopted Bettie F. Williams Elementary School. This jump-started another BeAR’s journey of snacks, books, games, book videos, token gifts (tokens are awarded for good citizenship, friendship, grades, and helpfulness), and even an opportunity to help with their awesome end-of-summer party.

Finally, the 2022–23 school year arrived and BeAR was back in full force. A kickoff and mentor training session took place in October, with more than 50 mentors—new and old.

BeAR returned to Norfolk and Virginia Beach schools in early November. Second grade students who were just starting kindergarten when quarantine began, are struggling in their first full year of school. BeAR’s one-on-one reading program has already made a huge difference for these young people.

One day a week for one hour is life changing for BeAR students, as well as for BeAR mentors. To learn more about being a BeAR mentor in one (or more) of BeAR’s Norfolk or Virginia Beach Elementary schools, contact Robin Ford, BeAR coordinator, at 757-321-2304 or email

Robin Ford