The Passionate About Literacy Program (P.A.L. Program) is focused on promoting a love for reading through mentor relationships in elementary school students.  We are partnered with the University of Arkansas’ Volunteer Action Center to create Big and Little relationships that last!

University of Arkansas students serve as mentors during school lunch-time to 3rd and 5th graders at Jones Elementary School in Springdale for one full academic year, 3 semesters in total. These mentoring relationships allow the elementary school students to enjoy reading activities with their mentor, as well as participate in other activities that allow them to build a strong relationship with each other.

Questions? Email vacpal@uark.edu



How long is the commitment to be a mentor in the program?


The commitment to be a part of the PAL Program is 3 semesters. The first semester being your interview and matching semester, then the following two semesters spending time in your match with your Little. The reasoning behind the 3-semester commitment allows you to get to know your Little and build a strong relationship with them. 


Am I able to be a part of the program without a mode of transportation?


Yes, as long as there is another volunteer or board member that is able to go. This is dependent upon who we have available with transportation at that time!


What is the time commitment per day/what days is the program running?


You are required to spend around 45 mins-1 hour a week with your Little. You can decide which day of the week you would like to go to Jones Elementary, but it must be regular. You must be free between 11 AM – 1 PM at least one day per week in order to be able to apply to be a part of this program.


What is the process of getting a ‘Little’?


To get a Little, you must first apply on the University of Arkansas Volunteer Action Center’s HogSync page. Then after review, you will be contacted and begin training with the VAC PAL team. After, you will enter into the Big Brothers, Big Sisters interview process to get matched with a Little. If we have a Little who is waiting for a Big, you will be matched after this process is over. You are required to be in a match for one full academic year before leaving the program.


I’m nervous about having a Little, how can I be sure that I will be ‘enough’ for them?


Big Brothers, Big Sisters, as well as the PAL Team at the University of Arkansas, will help you to gain the skills necessary to be confident with your Little! Kids want to be known and to have someone to talk to, so as long as you are doing that, you are more than enough!