School reading program searches for volunteers
The One to One Reading Program, a volunteer-based initiative that aims to increase literacy among Merritt students, is looking for volunteers to register today (Tuesday).
Training and registration is scheduled at the School Board Office from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for volunteer readers and school co-ordinators, and from 12 to 3 p.m. for just school co-ordinators, states a press release from the program.
“We’re looking for as many volunteers as we can get, really,” said Literacy Helping Teacher Jennifer Denton. “We are specifically looking for volunteers for Diamond Vale [Elementary]. But we need them anywhere, really.”
The program aims to provide each student with 30 minutes of one-on-one tutoring three or four times each week for about 10 weeks.
The children are in grades one to six and they are not receiving other specialized reading help from school district staff.
Tutors are tasked with providing a supportive environment that will help cultivate literacy among the students.
Each volunteer needs to be able to commit to 1.5 hours each week, either in the morning or afternoon from October to early May.
Tutoring is completed during school hours under the supervision of a teacher. Substitutes are available if the volunteer is on vacation.
The program was developed in 1989 by reading experts at the Vancouver School Board, and by a group of volunteers.
Now, the program extends throughout Alberta and B.C.
Volunteers need to be at least 16 years old, have a solid reading foundation and language skills, as well as a “desire to make a difference.”
Francophone volunteers who are able to help at an immersion school are also sought.
Approximately 40 students were a part of the program last year. Teachers recommend students who they think could benefit.
Each volunteer needs to complete a criminal record check.
Free training is a requirement of every volunteer in the program, and lasts for three hours for volunteer readers. Co-ordinators require three additional hours.
The School Board Office is located at 1550 Chapman St.
People can also register by calling Jennifer Denton at 250-378-2617, or by emailing email@example.com.
The Nicola-Similkameen School District 58 runs the program, which was initiated by Literacy Merritt.