Mini Libraries
The Mini Libraries program provides at-risk students immediate, home-based access to high-quality books that they can read and keep. We place portable, free-standing, newspaper-type dispensaries in strategic location sites at five elementary and two high schools. Volunteers collect donations and fill the dispensaries with nationally recognized, "approved reading" books. Students may take two books at a time to read at home and can either keep or return them to the bin. The program also includes evening school events with parents. At these events, students receive books to take home with them. Mini Libraries distributes about 13,000 books a year. This program serves 4,000 students annually and is funded with in-kind donations.

Thanks to a team of Leadership Sandy Springs participants, we now have a partnership with the Sandy Springs Fire Department for a year-round book drive. All four Sandy Springs Fire Stations have book collection bins. All new or gently used books donated for children between kindergarten and 12th grade will be distributed to students in Sandy Springs public schools.  Interested in volunteering? 

SSEF Literacy - Mini Libraries
SSEF Literacy - Mini Libraries

Reading Buddies
Reading Buddies provides meaningful relationships with caring adults to help children foster positive feelings about reading. Research shows this type of program can improve motivation, self-confidence and reading skills for children. Orientation, support and training are provided for volunteers and teachers identify students in need of assistance with reading.  Once per week, volunteers at Ison Springs Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary and Dunwoody Springs Elementary Schools read to chosen students for 30 minutes during their lunch period. SSEF purchases books suitable for participants.  This program serves 53 students at an annual cost per student of $50.00. Learn how you can volunteer for this meaningful program!

SSEF Literacy - Reading Buddies
SSEF Literacy - Reading Buddies

Thank You Notes from Reading Buddies Students

Testimonials from Reading Buddies Mentors

Dear Yuri,
Missing your celebration today makes me sad. Being your Reading Buddy this past year makes me happy.  Our time together has been very special to me. When we first meet last September, we were both a bit shy with one another. As we spent time together, I watched  you grow more  comfortable and confident with your reading. I remember the day so visibly when you told me with a great pride in your voice, that you had moved into a new reading group. WOW! I remember also when you shared that you successfully took care of your “egg family” for an entire week! Another WOW! I am confident in your ability as you move into the 3rd grade and beyond. You will conquer each  new challenge, including the Milestone Tests, as you continue to grow and learn. Keep reading – all sorts of books. As you said at our last Reading Buddy meeting, reading allows you to learn new things. Keep up the good work. I’ll be silently rooting for you, wherever both of us end up. Thank you.
Carroll Myers, Reading Buddy

I've really enjoyed reading with Kevin this year. He is interested in such a variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction, especially ones about animals. Kevin is doing a great job of sounding out new words and making predictions. He especially enjoyed a book about a boy in the United States writing to his cousin in Mexico, where they compared their lives and hoped to visit each other someday. He could really relate, as he had cousins in Mexico!  I'm so glad I got to know such a friendly boy as Kevin.
Fran Kilts, Reading Buddy

I started off this year missing my original buddy who was out sick, so I read with Cristian as a substitute. In the following weeks I read with Yarrell until he moved to NY, and we enjoyed reading together and talking about his possible move. I will say it has been a joy jumping over and reading with Cristian. He has a really good heart and I think he was just more excited about reading with me. Cristian was very good at reading the stories and talking about the pictures and laughing with me about the pictures and story lines. His favorite author is definitely Dr. Suess! My only regret this round is I missed too many weeks due to work, but no matter what Cristian was motivated and happy to read with me during this program. I think he enjoyed reading soo much sometimes he would forget to eat his lunch and I would have to tell him to eat.
Tim Bonenberger, Reading Buddy (SSEF Board Member)

Andrew and I have agreed on a number of items during our time together. One of the most important is our very high regard for the Lamborghini automobile! Andrew and I both want to own one someday. In addition, Andrew has demonstrated two capabilities. The first is the capacity to listen and the other is the capacity to read. It has been a pleasure to meet Andrew and share these hours with hm.
Jim McDonald, Reading Buddy

We loved “Lemonade War”! It was our favorite book. Tyana is a wonderful mathematician and she dazzled me with all of her knowledge. It was nice for me to have a little Buddy who is a girl. We talked a lot about school, friends and Ridgeview Middle School. I know she is going to do great! I enjoyed meeting and working with Tyana very much!
Leann McClendon, Reading Buddy

It has been an amazing honor to spend time with my “Buddy,” Ashley, reading together. Actually when she smiles (which she does often) that is all it takes to make me glad to be with her. I sometimes forget that I am supposed to be encouraging her to enjoy reading, when she is really encouraging me to enjoy life and the time we share reading.
Alice Nelson, Reading Buddy