This is a program that has been around for many years that addresses the reading needs of the Transitional Kindergarten, K thru 3rd grade readers in the San Gabriel Valley parochial schools. We do this 3 ways:

1.  Reading to a grade as a whole group. This usually comprises the volunteer reading to the entire class once a week for ½ hour. For the kindergarteners, it usually involves reading primarily picture books. For the 1,2, 3rd grade readers it involves, often, reading chapter books. The reading of an individual book may take several weeks.

2.  Reading one-on-one: This involves the volunteer reading, and being read to by the student. This is also once per week and for ½ hour.

3.  Tutoring: This involves one-on-one with a student, many times either with a student struggling with reading or a student who is at the head of the class in reading and needs/wants extra reading work.

The program is running presently at 3 schools, St. Andrew, St. Elizabeth and Nativity.

This program is based on the philosophy that being read to will increase a desire to read, increase reading skills and will instill a love of reading to the school population. If a teacher finds a student who either need more attention from a remedial perspective or from a enhancement perspective, the PALS volunteer can assist the teacher to either enhance the reading experience or help the student get up to speed with the rest of the class.

Alison Latiolait, email:


Reflections from PALS volunteers: Lina Palomo: “I chose the pre-K class because my granddaughter who is the same age lives in Colorado, and I miss reading to her.  This was a wonderful substitute, the children were delightful, and the whole experience rewarding.”Mary Jane Alexander: “It’s a real joy to work with under-achieving students and be able to see their progress during the year.  One definitely feels a sense of accomplishment.  Love helping out.”Charlene Seley: “It is quite rewarding to begin the year with children who can barely read and aren’t too enthused to try, and end the year with each one wanting to read the whole book! This is truly a program that shows children the joy of reading. “

Joanne Geraci: “I would say that I have been involved with the Pals Program since we first began and I do really love my time spent with the children.  I am presently at St. Elizabeth School involved in their 2nd grade for the last 5 yrs.  I spend 1 and 1/2 hrs on Thursday mornings reading with all four of her groups on a unique rotation system she has developed. This allows me to spend about 12 minutes with each group and to have time with all the children in the class.”