Literacy Links: A Parent Volunteer Program
Literacy Links is a volunteer reading programme with a mandate to assist primary students (grade one to three) who are struggling with reading. The goal is to enhance their reading, comprehension strategies and develop a love of reading. Each volunteer is paired with a student and meets weekly for about twenty minutes to work one on one. They listen to students read a familiar book, discuss what has been read and then introduce a new book which will be read by the student and supported by the parent volunteer. This program supports and is aligned with Wilshire E.S.’s School Improvement Plan for continuous growth and EQAO.
The parent volunteers attend two training sessions which enables them to provide informed support when helping children learn to read. They will utilize a range of approaches and some of the same strategies that our teachers use in their guided reading groups. There are many reasons students are selected to participate in this programme; to improve reading, comprehension, phrasing, fluency, expression, oral language proficiency and support students learning English. Most importantly, it is intended to build confidence and aim to have students view themselves as readers. Successful readers at Wilshire E.S. illustrate the “Matthew Principle” which states; “the more you read the better you get”. The premise of the programme is to level the playing field by giving the students experiencing difficulty more opportunities to read. Each volunteer typically works with three students, one at a time. The numbers of students who are involved in the programme are dependent on the number of volunteers we are able to recruit. Current research and practice has shown that this kind of involvement has mutual benefits. Our volunteers have indicated that they feel that this is a rewarding experience and they are able to use these strategies at home with their own children. As they say; “It takes a village to raise a child”. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated group of volunteers. Thank you for making a difference.