In 2013 Wellington North Rotary started a reading assistance programme in schools. Initially we partnered with four schools, based around our Wellington North area, and further afield in other areas where some of our members reside.
Currently we have teams of four to five people visiting each of the following schools, Ngaio, Wainuiomata Intermediate, and Ngati Toa in Titahi Bay, for around 1 ½ hours each week to listen to a child read for 10 to 15 minutes.
Each school chooses how they want to run the programme with some assigning volunteers to separate class rooms where the children are working whilst in other instances the volunteers work as a group in a separate room with children sent in groups from the classroom as a previous group finishes.
The children are enthusiastic about reading to another encouraging adult and enjoy the opportunity to discuss the subject matter and, sometimes, how it relates to their lives.
Like other Rotary Clubs in our district who are involved in this programme which takes place in working hours, our volunteer group extends to partners, neighbours, and friends of our members. There is always a need for additional volunteers to cover when somebody is unable to attend and to allow us to consider extending the scheme to other schools in the area.
Those of us who are involved have found being able to make a tangible contribution in this way a rewarding experience and if you think you might like to be involved we would love to hear from you.