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Twyford school pupils read with the elderly in new reading project

Pupils are reading to elderly volunteers under a new project being piloted at a primary school in Twyford.

Under the Community Reading Project, sponsored by Twyford resident Nicola Bruce and Caroline Norris, head teacher at The Colleton Primary School, retired volunteers visit the school every Wednesday morning to give pupils ‘an extra opportunity for supervised reading’ and provide an ‘extra resource for the school’.

Nicola said: “I’m involved in a company that manages a number of care homes and I was aware of the enjoyment that older people get from interacting with children.

“The idea that there might be a ready resource of older people that could help with literacy in schools, it just seemed to be a win-win.”

Nicola said the initiative, which has eight volunteers, sees people up to the age of 80 come into the school for one hour from 11am to have one-on-one reading sessions with the children. It aims to ‘form intergenerational links’ and break down age-related barriers.

The initiative is mainly focused on years two, three and four – ages seven to nine – with volunteers listening to an average of four readers per session.

Caroline said: “The curriculum is so busy and reading is such an important skill for our children, the more we can hear the children read, the better and it’s so nice that we can have our local pensioners coming in.

“It’s just an hour but it’s amazing how many children they can hear read.”

The team are keen to expand the initiative.

To get involved email Nicola Bruce at backtoschool@gmx.com

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