I’m very excited to announce a new Readeo initiative today!

The best thing about BookChat is that it lets us read to and connect with the children we love from anywhere. With Readeo, Internet access, and a webcam, we can read with children a block away or half a world away. My son has a better relationship with his grandparents because they spend time reading together every week.

Children today need more adults to take a sincere interest in their education, learning, and development. 70% of children reaching the 4th grade now read below grade level. This is an unbelievably sad statistic and we hope, in a small way, that our new program can help begin to reverse the tide in this literacy crisis.

We’ve partnered with Chicago International Charter Schools (CICS) to create an entirely new volunteering experience. We’re calling it eVolunteering. Our eVolunteers will read to children in CICS’s Loomis Primary Campus using Readeo’s BookChat technology. This means a Readeo eVolunteer from Florida could read to one of the children at Loomis in Chicago. Each week, our eVolunteers will read with the same child for 30 minutes.

We are piloting this project with one 2nd grade class of 27 students. We’ll be reading with these students in two different sessions at 1:30 CT and at 2 CT each Thursday beginning on March 3rd.

We’d love for you to sign up as an eVolunteer. You can eVolunteer from your office, home, school, or local coffee shop. It’s free to participate – all we need is your time and commitment. If you’d like to become a Readeo eVolunteer, please fill out a short eVolunteer application by clicking on this link!

Finally, I would like to thank Meghan Schmidt at CICS and April Shaw at Loomis  for their enthusiasm and help in setting this up! They’ve been fantastic to work with! And, a special thanks to Sandbox Industries for sponsoring the equipment for the school!