After-School Reading Buddy
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Creative Youth Center

After-School Reading Buddy

You'll build relationships and encourage reading in creative and consistent ways as a part of the Afterschool Adventure Book Club. When the school day ends, local GRPS students visit the Creative Youth Center, and you'll be there to meet your student and dig into reading together. Book Clubs pairs (that's you and a student) will read together and enjoy reading-related activities. You'll help them develop literacy skills, a love of reading, and an awareness of writing techniques. 

Your student will get to select what book to read and keep it when they're finished. And, hey, any teaching or creative writing experience you may have is a bonus, but not a requirement. This year, the program ends on March 28.

Show me how to get started
weekly on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesdays (3:30-4:30 p.m.) from September 17 through March 28)
18+; pass a background check
Baxter, Madison
Creative Youth Center
413 Eastern Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503 413 Eastern Ave SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Is This the Right Fit for Me?

You really love reading. And you know the importance of a student feeling confident in their reading skills because it opens up entire worlds for them. You can be consistent each week and build a personal relationship with an individual student through patience and encouragement. You have a knack for explaining things in a way that helps people, especially kids, “get it” and want to know more.

About Creative Youth Center

Creative Youth Center believes that while nurturing kids’ writing can give them access to the world, fostering their creativity may allow them to change the world. Their mission is to prepare kids for life’s adventures by supporting their writing and amplifying their voices. At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Their programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools.

  • Cyc Students Together
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  • CYC_reading_1

What Others are Saying

"A friend of mine invited me to one of CYC's annual events that showcased the kids' writing. I was so inspired by the excitement of the kids as their stories were highlighted that I knew I had to get involved. One challenge is that sometimes one of the kids will have homework in a subject that I am pretty rusty in. That can be intimidating, because usually the kids want to ask you things like: 'What's the answer?' or 'Did I do this right?' I've found, however, that the most helpful approach is to walk through the problem together and ask questions back to the student, like: 'Well, what do you think? How would you solve that? What is the question really asking, and how have you learned to answer something like this?'"


Contact the Organization

If you’re ready to ask some questions and get started, contact the Creative Youth Center directly.

Kait Polzin Program Manager 616-458-5505

What to Expect

Volunteers must complete an application form and have an informal, in-person interview with CYC staff. The initial volunteer orientation (in August or September) covers strategies for responding to student writing and various topics, like behavior strategy mindsets and research about how to encourage children to have a growth mindset. A second training halfway through the year will address topics volunteers suggest would be useful.