Eimear Fox, volunteer from Elavon Financial Services Ltd., tells us about her company’s link with St. Columbanus National School, Dun Laoghaire – she tells us the best things about the programme.
Q. Eimear, how long are Elavon linked to St. Columbanus and what does this involve?
A. Elavon were delighted to have the opportunity to work with St. Columbanus school for the second year running. Twelve volunteers from Elavon were involved in the Time to Read programme with second class pupils in the school.
Q. Tell us about an aspect of the programme that stood out for you.
A. Every week I sat and read with two children separately for 20 minutes each. They would enthusiastically bounce in to the library and tell me what they read the week before and what they were looking forward to finding out this week. Depending on the interests of the children involved we generally picked out a new book on every second visit. Over time I built up a rapport with each child and we would chat intermittently about the book in question and ways in which the book related to their lives and experiences.
Q. What do you feel you achieved?
A. The rewards were two fold – both for the children involved but equally so for the volunteers. I personally got huge fulfilment from partaking in the programme and looked forward to it every week. I saw a real improvement in the girl’s ability who read with me. We also got great feedback from the school who we worked very well with. It was a great opportunity for our company to lend a simple but practical hand to a school which is very much in the heart of the community which we are based in. All of the volunteers involved in the programme commented on what a nice experience the programme was for all involved.
Q. Tell us in one sentence the best thing about your programme!
A. Rewards all round, would have no hesitation in recommending!
Bord Gáis have been putting extra energy into their Time To Read link by making a significant contribution to Gaelscoil Uí Earcáin. Cliona Fitzsimons, Regional Coordinator, tells us about this momentous milestone for the link.
The boys and girls from second class in Gaelscoil Uí Earcáin were delighted to see new boxes of books coming into the school on one special day. Their increased levels of reading means that they are getting through a lot of books and more are always welcome in the school. The volunteers from Bord Gáis Networks, Finglas, saw the effect the programme was having on the children and organised a book appeal in their workplace. Due to the generosity of their colleagues, they have now kindly donated a fantastic collection of new and used books to their reading buddies to encourage them to keep up the reading!
Principal Ms Leah Ni Mhaoláin was overjoyed and wanted to pass on special thanks to the company and volunteers. She said: ‘We would like to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for the 4 large boxes of books that arrived in our school last week. We very much appreciate your kindness and generosity, and this new collection of books will add greatly to the amount of books we have already. They will also give increased reading opportunities to the children in the school and a more varied choice of material. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the staff of Bord Gais that give generously of their time every Tuesday to engage our pupils in reading and to support the school staff here. This is a wonderful opportunity for our children and the benefits of the increased reading are noticeable.’Photos (from top to bottom): Reading to a students during Time to Read in St. Columbanus National School, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. Students, staff and Regional Coordinator Cliona Fitzsimons with their new books from Bord Gáis staff.