to support the reading success of third-grade students in Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, and Webster Parish schools.

2019-2020 Literacy Volunteer Information

Last year more than 2,100 Northwest Louisiana third grade students were not proficient readers

Third grade is a critical year when children transition from learning-to-read to reading-to-learn. Reading proficiently by the end of third grade is one of the most important predictors of future academic achievement, high school graduation, and career success, yet many Northwest Louisiana children are missing this crucial milestone. Literacy disparities during the early grades are linked to persistent achievement gaps. Students who are not reading proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. Therefore, at the request of Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto, and Webster Parish school superintendents, Step Forward is recruiting and training volunteers to work with area third grade students.


How can you make a difference?

By volunteering to read with third grade students during the school year, you will be helping to support their reading success. To volunteer, you only need:

  • A love for children
  • A love for books
  • The ability to volunteer one hour each week during the day for the school year
  • To be at least 18 years of age, and
  • Willing to submit to a criminal background check

What are some additional details?

  • Volunteers serve directly at a participating elementary school in either Bossier, Caddo, DeSoto or Webster Parish of their choosing. A current list of participating schools can be found on the Volunteer Application
  • Step Forward provides the initial training and the school provides any final training specific to their needs
  • Since volunteers are classroom mentors, volunteers should dress comfortably yet appropriately. Dress can include jeans, polo, business casual, etc. T-Shirts are strongly discouraged per the schools

How do you get started?

  • To get started, please download the Literacy Volunteer Application via the link below. It also includes instructions on how to return your completed application
  • Once your volunteer application is received, you will be contacted, and an initial orientation will be provided by phone. Potential volunteers may also attend an in-person volunteer orientation if desired. Upcoming in-person orientations will be listed below.

If you need additional information, you may contact us, or contact Kathy Brandon, Step Forward Third Grade Volunteer Reading Project Coordinator.


Upcoming Volunteer Orientations:

Upcoming Volunteer Orientations:

Caddo Parish:
Shreve-Memorial Library Broadmoor Branch
1212 Captain Shreve Dr. Shreveport, LA
Thursday, August 15th from 5:45 – 6:45pm

Bossier Parish:
Bossier Parish Historic Center
206 Beckett Street Bossier City, LA 71111
Tuesday, August 20th from 5:45 – 6:45pm


You may also request a speaking engagement or an orientation for you or your group by contacting Kathy Brandon, Third Grade Reading Project Coordinator.