Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise is taking its primary school reading programme to greater heights this academic year.
Helping students read is one of the prime projects under the club’s literacy service roster.
“Literacy projects hold a special place for us because they can start making a positive difference in children’s lives from a young age,” Club President Andrea Bryan said.
For two years, club members have read with more than 35 selected George Town Primary School students to help improve their reading skills. Last year, facilitated by the school’s Reading Coordinator Natasha Wight, Rotary Sunrise and other volunteers spent a half-hour every Tuesday at the school.
“It’s amazing the difference 30 minutes a week can make. Most of the students were ‘struggling readers’ and benefited from the one on one reading experience, which builds confidence and encourages the love of reading,” said Project Coordinator Pauline McGettigan. “The students we had last year improved at least two reading levels over the course of the year.”
This year, once again with Ms Wight’s coordination, volunteers from Rotary Sunrise, Maples and Calder, Solomon Harris and Genesis Trust, and interested individuals may work with 18 primary school Year 2 students from 1.30 to 2 pm at the George Town Public Library, Ms. McGettigan said.
Literacy Committee Director Woody Foster said Rotary Sunrise has started a similar programme at Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay.
Beginning in October, 10 volunteers from the club and Diamonds International – coordinated by Literacy Committee member Debbie Strassburg – have been working with Year 2 pupils from 1 to 1.30pm on Mondays.
“Rotarian Pauline and I met with Principal Joseph Wallace who was very keen and interested in the programme and in no time I was in contact with school Librarian Mrs. Tasha Porter to take the project forward,” Ms Strassburg said.
Rotary Sunrise got involved in reading programmes four years ago in collaboration with Fosters’ Food Fair at the then Leading Edge High School. After helping more than 75 students, ages 11 and up, improve their reading skills, the programme continues at John Gray High School, said Raquel Solomon, who spearheads the programme.
“Anyone can volunteer. There are no specific skills required. We are just looking for people who can commit a half-hour every Friday morning from 8 to 8.30am to helping students become more proficient in reading,” Ms. Solomon said.
Those wishing to volunteer can contact her on [email protected]