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United Way Reading Buddies


What is the United Way Reading Buddies Program?
Throughout the year, new, small stuffed animals are collected by businesses, groups, churches, book clubs, boards, and schools as well as local campus wide drives. These animals are given to 1st and 2nd grade classrooms across Northwest Indiana to be used as reading buddies. Each student reads aloud to their "buddy" for a minimum for 15 minutes a day. Guidance Counselors in our elementary schools are also provided stuffed animals to be used as counseling tools.


United Way Reading Buddies is currently in 125 classrooms throughout Northwest Indiana.The program was developed in 2003 by the United Way Regional Volunteer Center in partnership with our Volunteer Ambassadors, the Valparaiso University Softball Team. 


With the support of proud Program Sponsors, Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, United Way Reading Buddies will be provided to 4,000 students for the 2015-2016 school year!


See the impact below!

How You Can Help:
Your help is needed to collect and replenish the supply of 4,000 new, cuddly, stuffed animals (approximately 12”- 16” tall.) You can help your community by:

- Hosting a drive at your company, church, or organization.
- Volunteering! Each stuffed animal needs to be prepared for the next school year. Find out more about volunteering to “bag and tag!”
- Making a monetary donation. For only $5.00, you can put a reading buddy in the lap of a second grader. Make checks payable to the United Way of Porter County with Reading Buddies on the memo line, or give through the PayPal button below!

Questions? Ready to host a drive?

Contact Mackenna Schon at or 219-464-3583 for your drive toolkit to get started!