Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society Executive Director Thomas Briginshaw shows some of the books provided to young readers who participated in the One-to-One program, which recently wrapped up for the school year. (Contributed)

Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society Executive Director Thomas Briginshaw shows some of the books provided to young readers who participated in the One-to-One program, which recently wrapped up for the school year. (Contributed)

Shuswap volunteers step up to help children’s literacy program

Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society’s One-to-One program finds success online

With the will to continue supporting young readers in the region, the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) found a way.

Thanks to the assistance of volunteers and the use of internet technologies, LASS was able to continue offering its One-to-One Reading program supporting children’s literacy. The program matches students with volunteer tutors for 30-minute reading sessions, which helps students improve their reading skills.

“We are very proud of the successes our tutors and students achieved during this challenging year,” commented LASS executive director Thomas Briginshaw in a June 7 media release.

Briginshaw said LASS decided in September 2020 to take the program online, and developed plans to use a mix of Zoom, Epic! Books and Google Drive to offer a seamless experience to its students. Staff at LASS taught small classes to existing volunteer tutors, all of whom received at least three hours of online training to help improve their online skills.

In total, 20 tutors contributed 770 hours to the program.

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“The One-to-One Reading program has been a resounding success this year, thanks to the commitment and perseverance of our students and tutors,” said Briginshaw. “We are very proud of everyone’s positive attitude and engagement during this year’s online learning sessions.”

Brenda Wale said she and other volunteer tutors were determined, more than ever, to give kids practice with the strategies they need to read better and understand more. Debby Nielsen, another volunteer with the program, was grateful for the opportunity to help children enjoy reading. She said she had fun with the student she worked with and learned a lot.

Briginshaw said the tutors and students each received year-end packages in appreciation of their commitment to engaging in online learning and making the program a success.

For more information, contact Briginshaw at 250-463-4555, email admin@shuswapliteracy.ca, or visit www.shuswapliteracy.ca.

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