Research has shown that summer is the time when youth are not engaged in academics or enrichment activities and lose ground on their education. Also, summer is a time when some families are more challenged with making their budgets work because their food costs increase dramatically. Together with community partners, UWSC through the Story County Reads coalition helps fund and implement summer learning programs based at school sites in Ames, Ballard, Collins-Maxwell and Nevada.


These programs are free of charge for participants and many volunteers will be needed. Volunteers can work directly with youth, supporting them during fun activities, or as food servers during breakfast and lunch. Enrichment activities include story writing, reader’s theatre, science and yoga.


Other summer volunteer opportunities includes the Harrison Barnes Reading Academy Reading Buddies, where volunteers will provide one-to-one literacy support to children who have completed kindergarten through third grade at supervised locations in Ames, Nevada and Huxley. No prior experience is necessary and must be at least 14 years old. All training and lesson plans are provided.


Story County Reads is an education coalition with United Way of Story County and partnerships with multiple sectors to support work within school readiness, school attendance, summer learning and literacy proficiency. The vision of Story County Reads is to ensure all youth in our community are proficient in literacy by the end of third grade.


Please visit vcstory.org for more information and to sign up for any of these programs! Interested volunteers may also contact the Volunteer Center of Story County at volunteer@vcstory.org or 515-268-5323 for questions or sign-up assistance. The Volunteer Center of Story County inspires, educates and mobilizes volunteers to address community needs in Story County.