City asks community for help getting Birmingham’s third graders on the right reading level

Mayor Randall Woodfin posted on social media asking for 750 volunteers for Page Pals, which pairs students with volunteers to strengthen reading skills.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:34 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A city program aims to help Birmingham students get to the right reading levels, but they need help from the community.

Page Pals is a program started by Birmingham Youth Services in partnership with Birmingham City Schools last year.

Page Pals is designed to increase reading abilities for third graders by pairing them with volunteers who tutor and read to them.

The city says last year they saw lots of enthusiasm from both the volunteers and the students, and want to expand the program in year two.

The volunteer goal this year for Page Pals is 750. It’s a big number, but the city says that’s the number that would be needed to have its third graders on the right reading level by the end of the year.

“Last year we only launched what we call our community readers portion of the program, the program has two components this year. One being community readers, and the other being volunteer tutors,” explains Galvin Bilups, the Director for Birmingham’s Department of Youth Services, “this year we’re delving in a little bit deeper. We want to make sure we give them structured tutor support as well and so the goal is more lofty, now we’re going for 750.”

Bilups says while there is no hard deadline for volunteers to sign up, he urges volunteers to do so as soon as possible because they plan on starting the program in October.

You can find out how to sign up on Birmingham’s Department of Youth Services website.

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