Grandparents Reading popular

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Words of wisdom . . . Concord School pupil Sonny-Lee Taunoa (9) reads to Jan Christie during Grandparents Reading at the school last week. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Grandparents Reading at Concord School has turned 10 years old.

Founded by Green Island resident Jan Christie, Grandparents Reading connects about a dozen older people with school pupils for half an hour each week.

Two groups of pupils spend 15 minutes each with a volunteer, during which they can read a library book or just have a chat.

Mrs Christie said the pupils often talked about things they did not share with their teachers and the sessions were beneficial for the pupils and volunteers.

Most of the adults involved were not grandparents of the children but enjoyed spending time with the pupils.

Mrs Christie rings them each week to see who is available and often has new volunteers join.

“We always take on someone else because not all of us can be here at the same time. There’s always someone to help.”

She and her husband Rob volunteered whenever they could.

Grandparents Reading was started when Mrs Christie heard about a similar programme at Hawea Flat School.

“I approached the school to see if they were interested and it all happened from there.”

School principal Steve Turnbull said the pupils looked forward to Grandparents Reading and were excited when they were chosen to take part.

The pupils had formed a good relationship with the volunteers.

“Kids will come in and look for a certain grandparent.”

There was great camaraderie between the volunteers and pupils, he said.