Reading a Story

The Story Time Project believes that reading with the youngest members of our community is fundamental. Story Time volunteers travel to classrooms and daycares throughout Walla Walla to read stories to children, facilitating a much-needed exposure to books and inspiring excitement about reading from a young age. The project also aims to help improve kids' listening, speaking, writing, reading, and critical thinking skills through exposure to reading, as well as promote diversity, acceptance, and the celebration of differing cultures through stories.

Whitman College volunteer readers work in pairs and read for half an hour each week. Reading opportunities range from daycare to elementary school, reading to kids in an age range of 2 through 7. Bilingual volunteers, especially those fluent in Spanish, are welcome, as several reading destinations are bilingual or Spanish-speaking environments.

History:

The Story Time Project began during the spring of 2002 as a collaborative effort between the Walla Walla YMCA and the Whitman College Center for Community Service. It has since become a permanent program within the Student Engagement Center and has expanded to meet the needs of eleven children's agencies locally.

The project's collection of books includes over two hundred titles. More than fifty of the books are written in Spanish. The books have been purchased and donated through the generous support of Vanessa Prull, Earthlight Books, the Whitman College Bookstore, and members of the college community.

FAQ:

How can I get involved?

  • Applications are open at the beginning of each semester. For questions or to request information, please contact us at storytime@whitman.edu.

What does volunteering for Story Time look like? What is the time commitment?

  • Story Time volunteers are each matched with a particular classroom or daycare to visit weekly. They may also choose to be paired with another volunteer as partner-readers if they like. Depending on the teacher's preferences, Story Time readers may read aloud to the full class, read aloud to a smaller group of kids, or read one-on-one with individual kids. Volunteers commit to reading for half an hour, once every week, for at least one semester.

Can I choose my reading partner?

  • Yes! When applying to be a Story Time reader, applicants can request pairings of their choice.

Email: storytime@whitman.edu

Contact: Claire Weissman

Adviser: Susan Prudente (prudensk@whitman.edu)