Literacy Now is looking for volunteers as they start up the One To One reading program for the new school year.
While many children pick up reading skills quickly, others need more practice, and some need one-to-one help to catch up. One To One matches elementary school-aged children with reading difficulties to volunteer tutors who spend time with the student each week, focusing on reading skills.
“These children just need someone to read with them,” says Naomi Ludington, the literacy outreach co-ordinator for Literacy Now South Okanagan-Similkameen. “Falling behind in reading really holds a student back. A little bit of individual help can make a world of difference.”
While the schools will be supporting the student via special education programs, One To One volunteers add extra, individual support. Tutors work with each child for half an hour each week, and each child works with three tutors, adding up to 90 minutes of focused reading time for the students each week of the 12-week program. The volunteers follow the same children through the 12-week program so there is consistency.
The volunteers provide reading instruction as well as reading with the student, which requires a short training session covering reading strategies to use with the children to help them get better at their reading.
“Most of us have already used some of these strategies with our own children,” said Ludington. “We want to keep these kids excited about reading, and help them feel successful so they want to spend more time doing it.”
Volunteer tutors commit to a weekly 90-minute reading session, for either the fall/winter or the winter/spring program. Tutors are generally placed in the school of their choice, and can usually choose to volunteer either in the morning or the afternoon.
The next training session in Penticton is on Friday, from 1 to 4 p.m. Interested adults can contact Dawn Renaud at 250-493-7554 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.