Be A Reader program enters 22nd year prepared to help students

by | Aug 19, 2021 | Other News

 Robin Ford

As another potentially challenging school year is about to start, the Jewish Community Relations Council of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater’s Be a Reader (BeAR) program is gearing up for 2021–22. The program’s volunteers and staff hope to be able to enter schools in October – ready to help struggling students sharpen their skills and learn the joy of reading.

When students are recommended to the BeAR program by teachers and/or reading specialists, they are assigned to a BeAR mentor for a one-on-one meeting each week for up to one hour. Along with developing their reading skills, these children’s attitudes toward reading improve, and their self-esteem flourishes.

Ready to help?

Be a volunteer

BeAR always need volunteers. For those who are concerned about the time commitment, consider the BeAR Share volunteer option where two volunteers share the weekly time obligation for one student. BeAR students need great trainers and no one ever regrets helping a child learn to read.

Be a donor

The BeAR program always accepts financial contributions. BeAR is in eight local Title 1 schools and assists more than 100 students, providing books, workbooks, pencils, erasers, crayons, sketchpads, and other materials to help build each student’s personal library.

Contact Robin Ford, BeAR program coordinator, at 757-321-2304 or to learn more about BeAR, volunteer your time or treasure, or visit