Return to Headlines

Montgomery County Introduces Summer Reading Pals Program

Montgomery County Introduces Summer Reading Pals Program

Summer reading program will allow children to improve reading and comprehension skills

This summer, Montgomery County Schools (MCS) is pleased to announce the creation of Reading Pals: a new summer reading program that will help rising Kindergarten through Third Grade students improve and maintain reading comprehension skills at their grade level.

Reading Pals – an initiative coordinated through the Montgomery County Thrive Task Force – is a free program that hosts hour-long reading sessions once a week. From now until August 14th, Reading Pals will meet every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at a variety of locations throughout Montgomery County. The various meeting locations are designed to make the program accessible to as many children as possible across the county.

The 2019 locations include:

Biscoe: Green Ridge Elementary (129 McCaskill Rd.) and Mt. Moriah Baptist Church (223 Leach St.)

Candor: Candor Elementary (414 S. Main St.)

Mount Gilead: Mt. Gilead Elementary (100 S. School St.) and Highland Center (131 Hoffman Dr.)

Star: Star Elementary (302 S. Main St.) and Star Town Hall (454 S. Main St.)

Troy: Troy Elementary (310 N. Russell St.) 

A typical session begins at 10 a.m. with an activity that connects to that week’s selected book. Session groups will then read together and open up a discussion in order to practice comprehension and foster an open learning environment. At the end of each session, children can pick out a book to read and discuss at home with parents. Snacks and beverages are also provided.

Jim Matheny, County Commissioner for Montgomery County, says he believes that while reading comprehension is a primary goal for this program, parent/guardian involvement is an equally important focus.

“We feel that anything we can do to help these kids read at grade level will allow them to improve in all aspects of their education,” Matheny said. “However, in order to continue the impact of the program beyond the summer, we need the parents to participate as well. We want to help them learn how to teach their kids to read more efficiently, to encourage their kids to read and to challenge them on comprehension. We have to focus on the little things to take big strides.”

Parents are encouraged to attend and participate in the program with their children in order to create a smoother transition to reading at home and by themselves. Every book used during the program will be provided to children at no cost.

Sandra Clyburn, a site lead for the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church location and employee of Communities in Schools, says that there is so much reward from this program—and not just for the children.

“It is so exciting to see the students wanting you to read to them, wanting to read to and help one another, and just being engaged,” she said. “You can see how much they enjoy reading and how badly they wanted to improve and learn. That is the most rewarding part.”

To learn more about Reading Pals, or to enroll your child in the summer reading program, please visit