A Principal’s own Time to Read Story-Mary Walsh, St. Joseph’s Mercy Primary, Navan

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Our school was approached by Time to Read North East Regional Co-ordinator Kate Horton in early September 2015 to become involved in the programme in response to an expression of interest by a local business.  We immediately saw the merits of the programme but were also mindful of the organisation and time input needed within a busy working school day.  After some thought and much discussion we decided to take part and we were  “twinned’’ with Generali Link.

The programme was launched in the school on October 20th in the presence of pupils, parents, volunteers and company representatives. Our school chairperson spoke at the launch about the importance of literacy as a life skill and also the importance of volunteerism in modern society.

The programme is now running each Wednesday morning in our school since November 4th and it has been a great success. The selected pupils love going out for their half hour slot and enjoy the attention and the socialisation – as well as the reading!! Their parents have all reported an improvement in their reading and most importantly their attitude to reading. Their class teacher has noticed similar improvements and has also noted a greater self confidence in the pupils who attend the sessions. The one to one work has been so beneficial to the lucky pupils. Whenever possible – we tried to involve all pupils from the selected class (not just the selected 8) in Time to Read activities – so the whole class went on the library visit and the visit to the work place.

The programme has been a wonderful experience for all involved and we are most appreciative of the wonderful volunteers who give of their time so cheerfully each week for such a worthwhile initiative.