Local kids will now have more opportunities to learn to read, thanks to a new Reading Partners program put forward by the Victoria Literacy Connection.
Starting in 2019, VLC volunteers will be going to five Greater Victoria School District elementary schools to support kids in their literary development.
“We know this is an issue, some kids need a little extra help,” said Christine Bossi, executive director of the VLC. “It’s all the difference in the world. If they fall behind it’s hard to keep up, and it really helps their self-esteem.”
Kids of different ages and reading levels will be paired with volunteers, who are asked to spend two hours per week working with several children.
This will be the first time VLC can come into schools during regular hours, something that Bossi said will give volunteers more opportunity to connect with kids while they’re young.
“We need to get to them now in elementary school … the earlier the better,” Bossi said.
She noted that while kids might have encouraging parents or teachers sometimes they get embarrassed to read in front of them, so having other volunteers could help.
“Sometimes they need just a little nudge,” she said. “It gives them a chance to explore the world of books and literature, and get better at reading on their own.”
Volunteers will get a criminal background check, and training before they start working in schools.
Anyone interested in volunteering can visit victorialiteracyconnection.ca. The organization is also accepting monetary donations for new book racks for each of the five schools, valued at $700 each with products from Bolen Books.
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