Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tucson: BookPALS seeking Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools



From: Ellen Dean []
Sent: Wednesday, June 08, 2011 3:03 PM
Subject: BookPALS Readers training in Tucson this fall


Dear BookPALS Readers and potential readers,

We have a venue for our in town training in the Fall!   We will have another in October at Saddlebrook.


Where:  Little Chapel of All Nations

            1052 N. Highland

            Tucson, AZ 85719 (near the Highland overpass)

When:  Saturday, September 17, 2011


Who: Actors, theater students, interested community volunteers who want to read aloud to weekly to classes of elementary school             children. (Description of program attached).


RSVP to this e-mail to sign up for this free training the use your talents to make a difference in children's lives.

Ellen Dean
Arizona BookPALS Coordinator
328 W. El Camino Dr
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 750-2923








BookPALS (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) is organized both at the national and local level, with the national office located in Los Angeles at the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.  Each local chapter is managed by a Program coordinator who recruits and organizes volunteers and schools, plans events and reading workshops, and reaches out to individuals and the corporate community for support.  The goal is to ensure that everyone, our BookPALS, our participating schools, and of course our children, finds the experience worthwhile.


The Arizona Coordinator is Ellen Dean.  She can be reached at:

(602) 750-2923 or  (602) 870-9458. Or e-mail





We provide the school with a BookPAL who volunteers for an hour a week (one half hour in two classrooms) for a semester to read and discuss stories with the children.  We envision the reader and the teacher developing a cooperative relationship--working together to choose good literature that will be beneficial to the class and/or supportive of the curriculum.


Since each BookPAL reads to two classrooms back to back, it is helpful for teachers in generally the same grade level to sign up as pairs, so the same story can be read in both classes.  The readers and teachers establish a day of the week and designated time that is convenient and maintain that schedule as long as possible and mutually agreeable. Sometimes BookPALS will have to miss a class due to auditions or work schedules; they often can schedule an alternate day.  Some BookPALS can only volunteer for an 8 week period, while others can spend the whole semester or even the year.  Often mid-year other teachers want a turn and the BookPAL will switch to two other classes; you can work this out together.








We ask that as a BookPAL you:


q  Commit to a number of weeks (usually a semester) for one hour per week at a specific school.  You will read to two different classes back to back for 30 minutes each.  Commitment is very important to this program…the children look forward to your coming and count on you being there for them.  In special situations, arrangements could be made for a shorter commitment.  Discuss this with your teacher.

q  Call your on-site coordinator or your teacher at the school if you are sick or have an audition on your reading day to let them know you will not be there.  The coordinator will let your teachers know.  If you have your teachers’ numbers, you may call them.

q  Call Ellen if you get a job that will cause you to miss more than two weeks.  She will try to get a substitute for you.  Often you can just change the day you read.

q  Select and bring your own reading materials.  Suggested bibliographies are provided in your new reader packet.  You can also check with the teachers and the school or public librarian for age appropriate materials.  This is important to the success of the reading experience.

q  Attend at least one Reader Workshop to learn how to make the most of your reading time.

q  Check the school calendar.  We ask each school to give their volunteers a copy. There is nothing worse than showing up to read and finding there is no school in session.

q  Keep in touch with Ellen.  Let her know periodically how things are going.  Please call with questions, problems or just to tell her how much fun you are having being a BookPAL She will be checking in with you also, so please make sure we know how to reach you.



*Come and be a storyteller or reader at BookPALS special events that occur throughout the year.

*Contribute book suggestions and share fun experiences you created in your classrooms for the newsletter, ARIZONA BOOKPALS

*Share any ideas you have for events, fundraising efforts, fun for BookPALS or fun for the children—organize a book-drive for BookPALS      .



q  All potential BookPALS volunteers go through Ellen

q  Ellen locates a school for the volunteer and contacts the school’s on-site coordinator with the volunteer’s name, phone number and initial preferences for age group, reading time and day.  This allows the school some time to take a look at classrooms that may work.

q  Contact is made between school and reader or reader and school and a schedule is established. The Reader then calls Ellen to inform her of the schedule, grade level, teachers’ names and e-mails and number of kids.



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