Families Forward Learning Center Launches Reading Buddies Program

Girl Scout Gold Award project developed by South Pasadena High School student Evelyn Dowd

PHOTO: Families Forward Learning Center | South Pasadenan.com News | Sebastian, and his Mom Marianna Gabriel and his Mom Petra, attend to Sejin's read-aloud at the wooden bench and table.


Families Forward Learning Center’s (FFLC) successful on‐line program Reading Buddies is now in‐person. In November 2020, South Pasadena High School student Evelyn Dowd developed Reading Buddies as her Girl Scout Gold Award project. Evelyn worked with Families Forward Volunteer Coordinator, Veronica Macias, using early education research to develop lesson and activity plans for each session. She also created informative guides for her team and parents alike.

Evelyn’s goal was to develop a program that would continue when the preschoolers returned to school. In September, Evelyn launched a Reading Buddies Club at her school to encourage volunteers to be part of FFLC’s Reading Buddies program.

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PHOTO: Families Forward Learning Center | South Pasadenan.com News | Top Row from Left: Ryan Kim, Evelyn Dowd, Audrey Biggar and Sejin Oh (Volunteers) Bottom Row from Left: Madelyn, Sebastian, Oliva, Matias, Mayte, Gabriel (Preschool Students).

Reading Buddies program has been running since November with six children accompanied by one parent on two Saturdays a month in FFLC’s Preschool Play Yard. Each month features a new book and set of activities.

In February, our featured book was “How Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” by Jane Yolen. The children explored the question through paint and texture as they made their own dinosaurs using bubble wrap as a stamping tool. Each child took this month’s book home to add to their library!

PHOTO: Families Forward Learning Center | South Pasadenan.com News | Olivia and Mayte enjoy their dinosaur puppet craft making them jump up and down.

Serving Pasadena since 1961, Families Forward Learning Center services are based on a two‐generation learning model that empowers both parents and children to gain knowledge and skills that improve outcomes for the entire family. FFLC ensures that children are safe, healthy and developmentally on‐track, while enhancing parents’ skills, literacy and self‐sufficiency so they can be active participants and advocates for their children’s education and their families.

Families Forward Learning Center is located at 980 N. Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena.