Jessie had been struggling with getting the meaning of the words she was reading, so I carried on finding books that I knew she was interested in – suddenly one day everything fell into place and once she realised she could do it, there was no stopping her. It’s exciting when you get a light bulb moment like that!
I have been volunteering for 4 years and I have found that taking the time to build up a relationship with the children is vital – they need to trust that I am there to help them and I need to know what they like so that we can find a reason for them to want to read. Today, Joe and I will be making origami frogs – it will be fun and a chance for him to use his skills in a different way, by reading and following instructions. I suspect he will enjoy showing me how to do it too! I would highly recommend being an ABC to read volunteer.
When Francisco shuffled into the room with slumped shoulders for his first session, I knew he didn’t want to be there. So we started by playing some games to help him relax and for us to get to know each other better. As the weeks went by, he got more used to our sessions and came out of his shell more. English wasn’t his mother tongue so he was learning the language and trying to read it at the same time. I was so proud of him the day he came in and made a joke in English about a book we were reading together!
I don’t have children or grandchildren of my own, so being an ABC to read volunteer is a great way to connect with younger people. Before I started volunteering, I thought children might not like being picked out to come for our sessions, but they love it! They are used to lots going on in their school and to children going in and out of the classroom for different reasons. I’ve recently changed jobs, so now I have a longer bus journey to get to the school, but I’m still doing it because I so much enjoy working with the children and seeing them learn. I would recommend being an ABC volunteer to anyone who is considering it.
I had reading help myself when I was younger and I have since gone on to get a Masters degree and set up my own business. I want to help children, just like others helped me, so that they can go on to fulfil their potential and live their dreams. As I work for myself I have the flexibility of time to commit to being an ABC to read volunteer.
I was placed in my school last term and I am working with 3 boys at the moment – they are lively and lovely. They are keen to come to our sessions and I enjoy seeing them make progress in their own ways. When I wore my Santa hat to school before Christmas, the whole class wanted to come out and read with me!
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If you would like to help children discover a love for reading so that they can go on to fulfil their dreams, please get in touch.