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Berkeley United in Literacy Development (BUILD) is one of the largest reading programs in the East Bay, with 215 UC Berkeley student mentors providing one-to-one literacy support to 850 youth at 20 locations in Oakland and Berkeley. Each mentor is matched with 3 children with whom they work individually in 30-35 minute after-school sessions twice a week. Mentors work with the same children for at least one semester, and sometimes for years. In addition, all mentors attend an orientation, 3 trainings per semester, and weekly meetings with their mentor team. BUILD runs in fall, spring, and summer.

1819 Directors
BUILD Directors, 2018-2019


BUILD is supported by the City of Berkeley’s Youth Services and is a partner with the Berkeley Unified School District on Berkeley’s 2020 Vision. It is also a member of the Oakland Literacy Coalition and a supporter of Oakland Reads.

Application Dates

BUILD Mentor Applications Apply here!
Application Deadline Rolling (currently seeking in-person mentors for Mon/Wed 3:30-5:30pm and Tu/Th 2:45-4:45pm)
Mentor Orientation

Sunday, Sept. 26,
1pm-3:30pm on Zoom

Mentoring Starts Week of Sept. 27

Contact Information

For more information, contact 


Liliana Ledezma
“Participating in BUILD is a way for me to alleviate educational barriers…similar to the ones I endured as a child. The relationships my scholars and I have created become their bridges to the fun of learning. Their growth reminds me of the importance of investing in youth.”

Liliana Ledezma, Class of 2021, Major in Urban Studies
Hometown: Santa Ana