School reading program wraps up
The One to One Reading Program is wrapping up another successful year teaching Merritt’s elementary school students how to read, and now organizers have their sights on registering next year’s volunteers.
“It’s a really positive program and I think it’s a great thing to have good news about the schools, and about teachers, because it’s not really out there right now,” said Jennifer Denton, literacy helping teacher. “Great things are happening in schools right now and I think that’s an important message to give. People are coming together and working on a goal that is important to everybody.”
Each student attends approximately three times per week.
“I really like reading,” said Bench Elementary Grade 1 student Jayda McKnight. “It’s fun and I get to play games.”
The class is structured so that approximately 15 minutes is spent reading and 15 minutes is dedicated to reading games.
The program was on a hiatus, but returned for the last 1.5 years to Bench Elementary School and is run throughout Merritt by the Nicola-Similkameen School District 58 after Literacy Merritt initiated the program.
Approximately 40 students are part of the program this year, Denton said.
“The students [who might benefit from one-to-one reading] are recommended by teachers,” she added. “Some benefit in different ways, some need to move up a level in reading, while others might want to improve at their current level.”
Kristina Desmond is a volunteer co-ordinator with the program. She said students love the initiative.
“Sometimes their time slot falls into gym class, but they are still happy to be here,” she said.
The group is looking for volunteers. In order to be a part of the program, candidates must go through a criminal record check and several hours of training.
Volunteers can contact Denton at email@example.com.
Each volunteer is asked to contribute at least 1.5 hours each week.