Arizona BookPALS Branch

Welcome to Arizona BookPALS!

We’re so glad you’re here. Watch a message from the Arizona BookPALS Coordinator, Ellen Dean:

Go to: Arizona Branch Activities


Arizona BookPALS is part of the National BookPALS literacy program sponsored by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. We place actors, performers, theater students and trained community volunteers into under-served elementary schools to read aloud on a weekly basis to classes of children. It takes just an hour a week to make a big difference in children’s lives. We also have a writing program, PencilPALS, if you can’t get into a classroom to read.


The Arizona branch of BookPALS was started in 1998 and now has over 80 volunteers reading and writing monthly to over 6,000 kids around Arizona. BookPALS was founded in 1993 on a clear premise: children must be exposed to the magic of books to develop a love of reading. The research shows that one of the best predictors of children’s success in learning to read is being read to aloud. We hope you’ll support the SAG Foundation’s efforts for this valuable cause! You can sign up to volunteer right on this website.

Contact AZ Coordinator Ellen Dean for more information or to sign

Watch Gene Ganssle (BookPAL for 11 years) read The Lorax:


Watch a student comment on his BookPAL, Gene Ganssle:

Here are some ways you can get involved:

1. Sign up to be a reader, here on the website!

2. Sign up to be a PencilPAL and write to a student! (starting next fall).

3. Have a book drive and donate the books to BookPALS to distribute.

4. Volunteer to read on the Storybox telephone line where kids can call in and hear a story (602) 864-3870 x 9800.

5. Contact AZ Coordinator Ellen Dean for more information or to sign