Bergen Reads mission is to inspire low level readers in grades K-4 with a love of reading, thereby enriching their lives and opportunities for future success.


Who We Are

The Bergen Reads literacy program is part of a nationwide effort to help public elementary school students enjoy reading and improve their reading skills in a comfortable and friendly environment. Bergen Reads is in its 13th year. This year we have over 135 volunteers working with more than 300 students each week in the Hackensack and Teaneck public schools.

What We Do

Bergen Read's trained adult volunteer “Reading Buddies” act as mentors, advocates and role models, going into schools for weekly one-on-one reading sessions with their K-4 students, November through June. Reading Buddies work in the public elementary schools in Hackensack and Teaneck. This initiative, which is run under the auspices of the National Jewish Coalition for Literacy, has proven to be successful in more than 40 communities throughout the nation.

Become a Reading Buddy

If you’d like to become a Reading Buddy and have one hour a week to spare during the school day, contact us, 201-820-3947 or and we will work to place you in one of our participating schools. No prior experience is necessary – we will provide you with training.

Nook Initiative

We recently launched a new initiative in cooperation with Barnes & Noble in Hackensack and thanks to a grant from the State of New Jersey’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. Our NOOKs™ in Schools pilot program enables our Reading Buddies and teachers at the Hawthorne Elementary School in Teaneck and the Nellie K. Parker School in Hackensack to enhance reading sessions with students using NOOK eReaders. Language and phonics apps along with ebooks and nonfiction magazines are available for exploration.


Q: Which schools participate in this program?

A: Bergen Reads serves nine public elementary schools, five in Teaneck and four in Hackensack.

Q: Where/when do I meet with my assigned students?

A: Volunteers meet with students at their schools at an assigned time during the school day. (8:00 am - 3:00 pm)

Q: What is the time commitment?

A: Each volunteer commits to a minimum of one hour per week. Volunteers, who choose to do so, may commit to more if we have a need to place more students.

Support Our Book Centerpieces Program

Celebrate your special occasion while supporting Bergen Reads. Rent inviting book centerpieces and/or bima baskets custom designed by Life O the Party and personalize them with ribbons of your color choice; add balloons and other decorations as you like. Each centerpiece comes on a mirrored base with a decorative bookmark attached to explain your donation.

To order your Bima Baskets  / Book Centerpieces please email

Support the efforts of Bergen Reads in Hackensack and Teaneck public elementary schools with a donation. Email to make your donation.