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.’’
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Deputy Premier Peter Ryan and Deputy Nationals leader Peter Walsh are expected to make a significant and long-awaited bridge announcement tomorrow.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.