Volunteer Reading Tutor Programme

28 May 2015

In the Autumn term of 2014, the College’s Volunteer Reading Tutor Programme (VRTP) successfully took place again. A total of 71 students volunteered to work with low-progress readers in 31 schools across the nursery, primary, post-primary, special, hospital school and Irish-medium sectors within the Greater Belfast area and beyond.

Students in BEd years 2-4 freely gave up to two hours of their time per week for a maximum of nine weeks in order to assist those children and young adults who struggle with the demands of reading. In fact, some students have, at the request of their host schools, continued their partnerships until the end of the academic year. Furthermore, some schools have kindly agreed to allow their final-year student volunteers to conduct their College-based dissertation work there also.

Schools and students alike fully endorsed the programme, and this is evidenced by very positive feedback. It is heartening to hear that schools are pinpointing the students themselves as being the most valuable resources on this programme. Their use of initiative and their willingness to work with school staff have been flagged up as particular strengths. In recognition of this work, all of the students have been awarded Certificates of Achievement. In addition, final-year students will have the opportunity to write a short reflective piece on this experience, thus gaining credit toward their Social Entrepreneurial Learning Certificate, which is a cross-disciplinary award given by the College.

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