What a joy to be able to read! Not only does reading let us travel to a world of imagination and ‘get lost’ for a period of time but it also allows us to learn, experience different scenarios, different cultures and increase our vocabulary.

 
The Rotary Club of Nelson Bay has been working with primary school children, from year 1 to year 4, on the Tomaree Peninsula for some 10 years to help them with their reading.
 
We have been both encouraged and supported by the school principals who are acutely aware of the necessity of the students to read and interact in the classroom to the best of their ability. As such, each child has their reading level assessed prior to our involvement and reassessed at the end of term to evaluate their level of improvement.  Statistically the results to date have been amazing with considerable improvement at all levels.  We go to the schools and with the supervision of the teachers are able to spend 30 minutes of one to one reading with each child either once or twice a week.  Currently we have 25 volunteers working with the children in the three schools. While we continue to assist with the recruitment of volunteers the schools are in the process of fundraising to ensure the program continues in its very successful format.
 
This year we were very pleased to receive a District Grant. This has allowed us to donate reading materials and dictionaries to the schools which will be used for the Rotary Reading program.
 
It is said that if the child is not reading well by year 3 the chances of him/her catching up are very poor.  With one of the Rotary Foundation’s area of focus being Basic Education and Literacy we are  addressing that area of focus as well as helping children on their way to becoming very productive citizens.  A very enjoyable, fulfilling, engaging and worthwhile program!