TORONTO – ReadUP is a reading club that brings together students and volunteers to help elementary students learn to read.
The students are provided with books that match their reading level so they can read successfully with confidence.
“We keep the atmosphere very casual. It’s different from school. They chat with each other, they get stickers on their name card just for showing up. They see their friends and I think that’s what makes it fun,” said Sheilah Currie, the founder of ReadUp.
“The idea of it is just to give children extra practice with reading at home so they will be successful at reading and just to compliment what they are learning in school.”
Each child in the after-school program is assigned to a volunteer and receives one-on-one attention by discussing the story and given assistance with difficult words.
“It’s really about positive reinforcement and less about the mechanics of reading, but just really developing the love of reading,” said Joanne Murphy, a volunteer in the program.
Children that complete the program also continue to attend and become volunteers. The program includes all reading levels starting from commercial books, to picture books, and transitioning into chapter books.
“It really matters to me that children have a good start in reading, so that in their later academic life they’ll succeed,” said Currie.