SitStayRead provides year-round programming for low-income students in first through third grades in Chicago Public Schools. Each grade’s curriculum is designed to support key literacy skills at that level. Each grade-level program is created in partnership with our Program Advisory Committee, which includes SitStayRead staff, volunteers, teachers, and faculty from the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Literacy, University of Chicago, DePaul University, and Northeastern Illinois University.
1st Grade | Little Buddies
In our Little Buddies program, a team of one Book Buddy, one Dog Team and a Program Leader visit a classroom for a one-hour visit, once a week. Little Buddies visits take place over the course of six consecutive weeks during the late winter and spring. Each class engages in a read aloud and group discussion, followed by an individual creative writing and drawing activity. This program focuses on big picture literacy skills like character identification, sequencing and listening comprehension. It also introduces students to the concept of having dogs in the classroom and has a special focus on social emotional learning.
2nd Grade | Tail Blazers
In our Tail Blazers program, a team of three Book Buddies, three Dog Teams and a Program Leader visit a classroom for a one-hour visit, once a week, over the course of eight consecutive weeks in the fall or winter. During these visits, Book Buddies lead small-group fluency activities and conduct structured brainstorming sessions, before supporting students in independent creative story writing. Students also spend one-on-one reading time with Dog Teams. The goal of this program is to improve reading fluency, while also building comprehension skills and written expression.
3rd Grade | Poetry Pals
In our Poetry Pals program, a team of three Book Buddies, three Dog Teams and a Program Leader visit a classroom for a one-hour visit, once a week, over the course of six consecutive weeks in the fall, winter or spring. Poetry Pals visits include small-group reading activities, comprehensive discussions about the poems, and independent poetry writing with Book Buddies, as well as one-on-one reading time spent with Dog Teams. The goal of this program is to improve reading comprehension, while also building written expression.