Due to its success a Benalla reading program will be extended to more schools across the district.MONIQUE FREER February 6, 2014 12:00am
Helping hand: Reading buddy Don Varcoe (right) and former Benalla P-12 College student Emma Tolliday.
A Benalla reading program will be extended to more schools across the district after evaluation found it was improving students’ literacy.
The Reading Buddies program — a partnership between Tomorrow:Today Foundation and Benalla P-12 College — began in 2011 at the college’s Avon St campus.
It provides early intervention for identified students in Prep, Grade 1 and 2, helping students before they fall behind and begin to lose confidence in their literacy abilities.
An evaluation by University of Melbourne last year found that many of the young students involved in the program had achieved significant growth in literacy levels and academic confidence.
‘‘Benalla can be rightfully excited about the positive results that the program is achieving,’’ Tomorrow:Today Foundation student wellbeing co-ordinator Cathy Hair said.
‘‘One of the goals of Tomorrow:Today Foundation is to measurably improve Benalla children’s literacy and numeracy levels.’’
The program involves volunteer reading buddies coming to the school at regular times each week to spend time reading, writing and listening with their young charges.
Benalla P-12 College Avon St campus program co-ordinator Tannis Brooks said the personal connection between an adult volunteer and the student was as valuable as the academic support they offered.
‘‘The children look forward to the days their reading buddies come, and establish a special relationship with them,’’ Ms Brooks said.
Every reading buddy is matched to just one student, enabling the student to receive one-on-one attention and assistance.
Tomorrow:Today Foundation sources and supports local community volunteers and Benalla P-12 College co-ordinates the delivery of the program, providing training for the volunteer buddies.
In 2013, the program was extended to St Joseph’s Primary School and this year it will be expanded again to include Benalla P-12 College’s Waller St campus.
‘‘We have an amazing group of volunteers already donating their time and talents,’’ Ms Hair said.
‘‘Expanding the program to the Waller St campus means a significant number of new buddies will need to be recruited.
‘‘We are appealing to people in the Benalla community who want to make a difference in the lives of young students to come and assist with the program.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Mary and Molly Byrne are urging others to support National Bandanna Day today.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
The annual Deniliquin Garage and Town Sale event is being held tomorrow, and more than 16 homes are registered for the bargain day.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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