Every week three members of staff, Regina, Brenda and Suzanne from Newry and Mourne District Council's Equality Unit volunteer for an hour on Tuesday on the Business in the Community Time To Read programme in a Newry Primary School.
We work with a range of Key Stage 2 Pupils and assist them with their reading skills.
The children choose their own reading books so it is usually something which is of great interest to them. It can be something goulish or sporty, medical, historical or mechanical or all about different animals and species with the key principle being that it is always fun for them to read. Dennis the Menace seems to feature often!!
There is a lot of interaction as we spend time listening to them reading and we also read with them and talk about the the story and pictures / diagrams in the books. We spend 30 minutes with each child each week and over the period of the year it is so rewarding to see the young people blossom and grow with confidence in their reading skills. The children appear to like it and are always keen to participate.
Each year we bring the pupils up to visit the council chamber where they meet with the Mayor and wear his chain and find out what the Council does which they find very interesting.
The volunteers also really enjoy it as they feel they are giving something back to their local community and helping children in the process.
We are very fortunate that Newry and Mourne District Council supports us in this volunteering and welcomes the opportunity to do so.
Regina from Newry and Mourne Council adds, " I have found it to be a very worthwhile experience working with the young people and it is so rewarding to see them so enthused and eager and happy to read."