Volunteer with ‘Time to Read’

Monday July 24th 2023

A project which supports children in their reading is seeking volunteers to give an hour a week to offer a child one-to-one tuition.

Children who fail to read well before they leave their primary school have a reduced prospect of doing well both in their secondary school and later in finding work.

Time to Read provides volunteers who spend one hour each week helping two pupils in a primary school to read better. They give one-to-one tuition that the class teacher cannot provide. Schools also find that pupils who read with a volunteer gain added confidence and boosted self-esteem.

Time to Read is sponsored by Business In The Community. The project was established in 1999 to improve the reading of pupils in primary schools by linking them with adults who would help them for half an hour each week – volunteers see two pupils each over the hour.

Many volunteers are released by their employer for an hour, while others give of their own time. Volunteers do a short training course. Their reward is to see children start to enjoy books. There are curently 98 schools involved in the programme across Northern Ireland and some 525 pupils receiving help.  

Jeffrey Johnston, a parishioner of St Patrick’s, Jordanstown, has been a volunteer with Time to Read for seven years, working in a team of six in Hollybank Primary School in Monkstown estate.

Jeffrey said: “The commitment is small for the volunteer but the benefit to the pupils is substantial.” 

Anyone who would like to help at a primary school near them or who would like to know more can contact Jeffrey on 028 9086 4993 or by email: jeffreyjohnston175@gmail.com.

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