during the last weeks I got to know about the organisation Read to a Child. I first got in contact through Lynne Blaszak and her blog First Thing Tomorrow. She is one of the many mentors who spend an hour a week to read to and of course with a child. On her blog, Lynne shares some of her lunchtime stories.
The Lunchtime Story time is a program designed to make volunteering easy. One lunch hour a week the volunteer visits an elementary school for a read-aloud session. He or she has one reading partner at a time. That way, you help to improve the reading skills, attitudes and confidence of a child. I’m absolutely fond of this program. Volunteers are asked to commit to one school year in order to get the chance to create a strong bond with their reading partners.
It speaks for the Lunchtime Reading Program that it has grown since 1991 from five volunteers in a single school library to more than 1,400 volunteers, spread all over the United States. There are a lot of big companies participating in the program, by allowing their employees to extend their lunch hour in order to get to the schools and back and of course by sponsoring the organisation (which you can do too).
There are many similar organisations in Germany as well. I was thinking about joining the Lesementor Köln initiative. As well as Read to a Child, Lesementor creates an atmosphere where volunteers can bound to children and young people who have an unprivileged background and help them to evolve their reading skills, strengthen their confidence and just spend some quality time with them. Founded in 2003, Mentor is active in over 15 German cities. Far too few, but as there are other initiatives to read with children, this area is growing.
Unfortunately, my work often leads me to different cities on a short notice, so I couldn’t commit to those kind of programs. But if you have the spare time, go and read to a child!
Auri der Theatergeist