Interested in Reading? Become a Reading Ambassador Today!


Nevaeh Castro, beat investigator

A newly-introduced program at the University of Arizona is offering a chance for high school students to get involved in college as well as get a feel of the college environment.

Worlds of Words offers a Teen Reading Ambassador program for students to get a college experience within U of A  that focuses on books for teens.

Ambassadors learn about young adult literature under the instruction of faculty and staff with high experience in children’s literature, education, library science, and more. This program focuses on positioning eager teens as reading ambassadors in their very own schools.

“WOW” Teen Reading Ambassadors communicate with popular authors of young adult literature, receive books by that author, and share their experience with their friends and family to promote reading in their school communities. Copies of the books read by the ambassadors are also donated to the ambassadors’ high school libraries.

Each book cycle occurs over the course of two months. Ambassadors first discuss the book and create plans for how to share it with peers. The next month, they host a free, public event with the author. Ambassadors receive a free copy of the books they discuss during the session.
“WOW” donates a second copy to the ambassadors’ schools. Students have created book displays, flyers, social media posts, and other engagements to encourage their peers to read as well as organized assemblies to send a bigger message.

To get a sense of the types of books chosen by ambassadors, please see the following list of books along with the authors the ambassadors encountered in the previous programming. Parents are highly encouraged to do further research on these books.

Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez
Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment by Larry Dane Brimner
Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot
The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg
Walk On Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson
Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

In addition to the literature discussions and author visits, ambassadors participate in “WOW” which offers free programming for the public all year round. To become a Teen Reading Ambassador, students must complete the online application. Applications will be accepted through the summer each year with start dates in the Fall. Meetings typically occur from 10 a.m. to noon on one Saturday a month at Worlds of Words, 1430 E. Second St., Rm. 453. For more information on the Teen Reading Ambassadors, email [email protected].