Reading Buddies: Library volunteer reads to Boys and Girls Club members

Savannah Vasquez
Volunteer reader, Will Rogers reads to a handful of children each week at the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast's Reading Buddies program.

Eight young students gathered in the Destin Elementary School media center to hear stories and learn educational tips during the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast’s afterschool program at Destin Elementary School Wednesday.

Each week volunteer reader, Will Rogers stops by for an hour with his program Reading Buddies.

“I’m here as a volunteer but this counts as an outreach program for the library,” said Rogers, who is the Children’s Librarian at the Destin Library by day. “It’s not just reading, but also vocabulary and spelling.”

Rogers explained that the original Reading Buddies program was designed for young adult volunteers to gain service hours by reading to children, however, the program has now been modified as not enough volunteers answered the call.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast hosts more than 200 students grades kindergarten through fourth grade at it’s Destin facility, and currently Rogers is the only volunteer reader for the club.

Because of his service, Rogers was chosen as the adult volunteer of the year for 2014 by the club as he logged over 50 hours of volunteer time last school year.

But for his part, Rogers said he does it for the kids.

“Many times we give them donated books to take home and keep and share them with their younger brothers and sisters,” said Rogers. “This way we are introducing them to books, and in a way it is bringing the Destin Library to them.”

To volunteer with The Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast visit their offices at Destin Elementary School on 630 Kelly Street, Call 833-3132 or visit

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