Support-A-Reader: invaluable training

I met Sherilyn Strube at a Sandy Curtis book launch at the Bundaberg Regional Library. We got talking and I learned that she is the Coordinator for the Support-A-Reader program run through Rotary East. She trains volunteers to become ‘Rotary Readers’ – people who give their time to help children improve their reading skills.

As a mum and a volunteer at my daughter’s school I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to learn how to teach reading – properly.

IMG_1224I attended the training, run by Sherilyn, with a class of six others. Sherilyn was a fabulous trainer who not only explained the methods in a structured and concise way, but also the reasons behind why it works.

After the training we had an opportunity to read with a child from the school where the training was held.

The first thing I asked my Grade 2 child was if he liked reading.

‘No’ he replied. I asked why. He said it was boring. Oh dear. He revealed he played video games everyday. But he liked fishing, hand-ball and tennis.

After our brief introduction we got stuck into reading. We both did out best, teacher and student, and I thoroughly enjoyed helping, encouraging and supporting his reading.

Rotary Readers has been running for over ten years and has over 100 volunteers in the Wide Bay Area. Not all schools are involved in the program, but if you’re interested in volunteering you can contact Sherilyn at Burnett Heads State School (4130 2333) and ask about her next training session and what schools are looking for Rotary Readers.

Loving reading and writing wasn’t enough to equip me to be a teacher. Although I’ve read to my daughter since she was born, teaching her to read is a different world – a new challenge. One I am determined to master.

She’s in prep, and her teachers are marvellous, but I’m her parent – I still have a responsibility to nurture her education at home.

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