Guest Reader Program

The Guest Reader program is for students in pre-kindergarten through grade 5. Every year, from January through late  May, business leaders, city officials and local citizens spend 20 to 30 minutes per week in an elementary school classroom reading aloud to the children.

The program is intended to expose students to the pleasures of reading and to present a positive reading role model. Reading to children brings enjoyment to both the readers and the students, and reinforces the idea that reading is fun for everyone.

Signup for our Guest Reader Program!

We are currently looking for volunteers from businesses and the local community to spend 20-30 minutes once a week, reading to students in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 5. The program will run from January 16th, 2024 until May 24th, 2024 (excluding any school holidays or vacation weeks).

To participate: If you would like to signup as a guest reader or sign your classroom up to have a guest reader come visit, please click the button below.

Registration is now closed, thank you to everyone who signed up! Notifications will be going out in December to both guest readers and teachers.

Guest Reader Dates:

January 16th, 2024 – May 24th, 2024


Time Commitment:

20-30 minutes, once a week


Deadline to Apply:

November 1st, 2023

We’ve extended the deadline to November 6th, 2023!


Reinforcing the Benefits of Reading

While most people would agree that reading aloud to children is a good idea, new studies are showing just how beneficial reading aloud can be for toddlers and preschoolers. An article in the New York Times outlined two pediatric studies about the significant interactions that occur when children listen to books read aloud. Of course, this is something that the Peabody Education Foundation’s Guest Readers suspected all along!

The first study, published in the journal Pediatrics, monitored brain activity in 3- to 5-year-old children as they listened to stories, and found a positive correlation between higher reading exposure and greater activation of brain areas associated with mental imagery, language processing, and narrative comprehension. The children hearing the stories were imagining them in their minds, a skill that can then help those children develop into better readers.

The second study, published in the journal Psychological Science, found that the language content of age-appropriate picture books contained more unique word types than the language used by parents talking to their children. This means that the more often children read to, the more likely they will hear a wider range of vocabulary words than those children who are not being read to. These studies show that reading to children plays an important role in developing brain activity and helping children become better readers.

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.

P.O. Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960