The red shirts are back and ready to launch into literacy! The Delta Reading Buddies Program has returned to Dobbs and Hutchinson elementary schools.
In 2017, Delta Air Lines committed to a five-year partnership with Atlanta Public Schools – providing books, resources, hundreds of thousands of dollars, and dedicated Delta employees who volunteer their time twice monthly to read to their APS buddies throughout the school year.
“Many of our students do not have an opportunity to explore the world or visit unique places because their caregivers are working so hard to provide the bare necessities for them,” said Principal Tiffany Ragin, Dobbs Elementary School. “Through our partnership with the Delta Reading Buddies Program, our students’ worlds are enlarged. They are using their wildest imaginations to take trips where only books can take them. Our buddies are not only helping our students to love reading, but the relationships they are building will change their lives forever. We are forever grateful for this partnership and our awesome reading buddies.”
Not even a new school site could waver Delta’s commitment to APS scholars. Hutchinson Elementary is temporarily housed at 220 Northside Drive while its campus is undergoing renovations.
“The Delta Reading Buddies Program has grown from over 100 Buddies to 250 this year. It warmed my heart to see the Delta Reading Buddies return,” said Dr. Shuanta Broadway, principal of Hutchinson Elementary School. “Witnessing the joy between a buddy and a student they’ve connected with for the past two years is impactful. I am especially grateful our buddies came to our relocation site. Our regular site is right near Delta’s headquarters. This shows the commitment Delta Reading Buddies have to the partnership with Atlanta Public Schools.”
LaSandra Boykin, Delta’s lead project manager of community engagement, says Delta volunteers have expressed positive feedback about their experiences. The only thing they wanted to change was getting an opportunity to spend more time with their students.
That’s a great problem to have.