In2Books (ePals Foundation)

Rating: 4.53 stars   170 reviews

Issues:

Location: 13625-A Dulles Technology Dr Herndon VA 20171 USA

Mission: To help all children become curious, independent learners and receive the support they need to realize their full academic and personal potential. Children who can not read proficiently by the end of the 3rd grade are are more likely to drop out of school and face diminished life prospects. Students in low income neighborhoods are at the greatest disadvantage in developing these skills. In2Books was founded in 1998 to help students during this critical period by providing innovative curricula, professional development, and engaging business and civic community members as adult mentors.
Target demographics: 3rd-6th grade Title I elementary school classrooms
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I was able to participate in the In2books program this past school year. It was a great experience. I was able to read and discuss book with my pen pal. We had great conversations and I really enjoyed my time with him. I would love to do it again this year. My only concern was the time line. It was constantly changing and sometimes the books would not show up on the timeline until two days before the assignment was due. Overall, the program was great.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I have been working as a volunteer with In2Books for two years. I love the experience and think it's a great way to volunteer without having to leave your own home! Literacy is such an important thing and this is a great way to support students who need us most. I'd recommend In2Books (and have!) to anyone. I am getting my Masters in Reading Education and have recruited other teachers from my classes to join.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I enjoy reading books with my students and seeing their varying understanding versus mine. They have so much enthusiasm and really enjoy the exchange. It is a nice contrast to adult book clubs I belong to. The kids focus on the positive and the adults focus on the negative.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

In2Books is an online mentoring opportunity that matches adults as pen pals with students. They then work through a series of different books together, while exchanging letters discussing their questions and opinions on the subject matter, as well as developing a friendship. I have participated as an online pen pal with the In2Books program each of the past four school years, and I intend to continue for the foreseeable future. I've been matched with six students thus far. I feel that, implemented appropriately, this program has great potential to positively impact children with regard to reading and writing skills. My student pen pals have always seemed genuinely enthusiastic about exchanging letters. They aren't always very focused on the books we are to be sharing, but they enjoy communicating with someone who takes an interest in what matters to them. The level of responsiveness from the classroom varies. Some of the students' teachers are very involved and take initiative to let the volunteer pen pals know exactly when the class is at each stage of the process. However, this hasn't been common in my experience. I understand that classrooms are extremely busy, and it's not always possible to keep up with the exchange of letters. My critique of the In2Books program would be that it seems to be somewhat unrealistically scheduled. From what I've experienced with six different classes, it is simply not feasible for students to get through the five specified genres within the required timeframe. The most ambitious class I worked with made it through only three full sessions. Generally, things start out fairly well, but after a few months at the most, classrooms fall far behind the In2Books online deadline schedule. Most times, I've stopped receiving letters from my student pen pal before the school year is even half over. In some cases, they continue through the books without sending letters, but usually activity and communication with In2Books seems to cease entirely. I write my letters as soon as possible, and it takes quite a long time to receive a reply, if one ever comes. I would suggest that instead of having a set order of genres to proceed through, perhaps they could allow each classroom to tailor their individual curriculum to better fit their needs and time constraints. A lot of the students really struggle with reading and writing, so it seems like it could become burdensome for them to muddle through while following a particular schedule. Perhaps each class could select three genres each year that interested them. As it is now, most classrooms never reach the final cycles during the course of a school year. All in all, this program is definitely worthwhile, but it does require the volunteer to be patient and flexible. Just remember, you're making a difference, and don't let it get you down if you don't hear back from your student. The teachers that are quite involved have assured me that the students really appreciate the letters they receive.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

For me, reading when I was growing up was like watching TV for today's youth. We had a TV, but I preferred to read as I could make the scenery MY scenery, the clothing MY designs, etc. Being a volunteer reading mentor I how I can try and show other young people how to have imagination and creativity. I work a full-time and a part-time job. So, volunteering for In2Books is conducive to my work schedule. I CAN do it all! :)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

As a recently retired educator, I was looking for a way to continue working with children in a cooperative, supportive manner. I discovered In2Books during an online volunteer search, and have been with the program for two years. The online support enables anyone with an interest in literature to be successful while helping a child to explore the different genres of books. The letter writing process is easy to folllow and allows you to share your opinions and reactions to the assigned readings. It's always exciting to receive a letter from your student and to read their thoughts and questions. I can highly recommend this program as a way to support children and foster a lifelong love of reading!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

i think this is a great program for both the student and the adult . it shows the adult leadership for the student as they are helping the students learn better creativity .

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The opportunity to share a reading experience with a youngster in a secure enviroment is the reason that I have returned each year to participate in the In2Books program. The insights the youngsters bring to each new book are inspirational. They amaze me at times. I most appreciate that teachers are totally involved in the program, committed to ensuring that students get the assignment done, communicating with us, the volunteers, reviewing what we write to their student and what is sent to us. Those who participate seem excited to be part of In2Books. I know that I am.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I was able to step in as a volunteer/mentor with a student mid-school year when her original mentor needed to leave for personal reasons. I was very impressed that in2books would do this; and not leave a young person hanging w/o a mentor while the rest of her classmates continued in the program! Though my tenure has been short, I had the opportunity to connect and care about an adolescent - which wouldn't have happened without in2books. In addition, the focus was on reading, learning, critical thinking, personal opinions, and the ability to convey thought in a cohesive manner; all the while incorporating technology. Does it get any better?? Thank you for your consideration of in2books!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

With In2Books, I was matched with a student. The student chose a book we would both read together. After we read the book, the student and I would write letters about it to each other. Since I was connected with the same student over the course of a school year, we read 5 books together. Over that time, we got to know each other a bit by sharing information about ourselves. A connection was made and the volunteering fit my busy schedule while promoting reading and writing skills.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?