Tutors in Kelowna know that reading opens doors for students. It can help them learn something new or understand important instructions, steer clear of danger, and even relax after a long day.
Tutors also know that when children struggle with reading, anything related to it can feel very intimidating; reading becomes a thing to avoid. But, week after week, these children develop a trusting relationship with a caring volunteer tutor in an environment where it is okay to make mistakes. As they start to feel safe, they become open to reading.
It is for this reason that we place connection at the core of ONE TO ONE reading sessions. It is key to the success of both tutors and students.
We asked ONE TO ONE volunteer tutors at Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society what placing “connection at the core” of their reading sessions looked like. Here are some of their comments:
“Building a trusting relationship by getting to know each other and our interests, communicating, and listening to my student. Having this non-judgmental relationship and connection has led to my student feeling more comfortable with reading.”
Another tutor shared that it means “coming to that place where we are both actively engaged in the story and reading as if we were in a play. It helps to model reading as a fun activity, and for my student to see me as a reader.”
Still another stressed the need for “a comfortable, trusting environment where mistakes are welcomed. I establish myself as a friend and someone who makes mistakes while reading and in school generally.”
Succinctly, the final tutor said that putting “connection at the core” of their reading session meant “providing a safe, non-judgmental reading time where we can explore the book that the student is reading.”
It is clear that there are many ways for tutors and students to connect, not the least of which is by showing up week after week! A big thanks to all the tutors who shared their thoughts on connection and an even bigger thank you to all the tutors in Kelowna for your dedication to the program and the students you read with.