Canada Bay Club helps kids learn to read

Did you know that almost 40 per cent of Australian school-aged children have less than 10 books available to read in their home*? As recently as last year the independent government advisory commission, The Grattan Institute, announced that too many children were missing the mark when it came to learning to read in early school years.

These are real difficulties facing our young people and at Canada Bay Club we strive to give back. Our club is always looking for ways to help make a difference in our community. As part of the Canada Bay Club social responsibility ethos, we encourage our Canada Bay Club family and staff to get involved in a genuine way, so when we heard about the Learning Links organisation, we wanted to know more.

Established in 1972, Learning Links has a focus on making change for young people with learning difficulties. Specialising in early intervention, Learning Links provides speech and occupational therapy, skills around developing communication and motor skills and even psychological assessments where required. Their aim is to break down barriers and enable children to have the opportunity to grow and learn in a safe, encouraging environment, while closing the knowledge gap.

For the past three months, Canada Bay Club has been involved in the Learning Link’s Reading for Life Program at Strathfield North Public School. Ten Canada Bay Club team members give their time to attend school each week in the role of reading buddies, to assist with one-on-one literacy activities.

Using a variety of fun, engaging games, the Canada Bay Club crew helps local students from years two to three, by giving them an opportunity to extend their abilities in the literacy realm and support them in learning how to read.

Learning Links has been running this invaluable program for almost 15 years and during these programs, the confidence of the children involved soars. Other benefits during the 15-week programs include an increased motivation to learn, the pure enjoyment of reading and a rise in self-esteem. The children themselves say it best: “Thanks for teaching me, it was fun and good.” “She was fun, a friend and helpful.” Or this, the ultimate outcome: “The words I could not read before, now I can read.”

It’s change like this that Canada Bay Club is proud to be a part of: our Canada Bay Club team is proud of helping the future generations of our local community be the best they can be and sharing the gift of the written word to the youth of the Inner West.

For more information on Reading For Life and to find out how to get involved with the good work at Learning Links, CLICK HERE.

* ref: www.heraldsun.com.au 10 August, 2017

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