Are you looking for an opportunity to make a huge difference in the lives of others? Do you love to read? Consider volunteering with One To One, a reading program offered in area elementary schools.
While many children pick up reading skills quickly, others need more practice, and some need one-to-one help to catch up. “These children just need someone to read with them,” says Naomi Ludington, the literacy outreach coordinator 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.”
Volunteers don’t need any special skills, although there are a few simple strategies they can use to help the students. These strategies are explained in a short training session. “Most of us have already used some of these ‘strategies’ with our own children,” says Ludington, for example taking turns, reading in unison, and looking at the pictures to help figure out the words.
All that the volunteers really need is a joy of reading. “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 sessions are in Keremeos on Tuesday, September 20 from 9 a.m. to noon, and in Penticton on Friday, September 23, from 1p.m. to 4 p.m. Interested adults can contact Dawn Renaud at 250-493-7554 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributed by Dawn Renaud, Assistant Outreach Coordinator, Literacy Now, South Okanagan-SImilkameen