A team of Midhurst Rotarians have been helping young readers at Midhurst Rother College (MRC).
Robert Morrison, a retired accountant with 35 years of experience, is one of the Rotarians who is committed to helping youngsters with their literacy. He is one of a team of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Midhurst and Petworth who participate in the reading aloud programme at the school.
He said: “Reading is a passport to life. If you don’t progress in your reading skills, you will be left behind.”
Nicola Williams, the MRC Learning Resources Centre’s manager, leads the programme matching classes with the Rotary Club’s schedule. She said: “Our students really benefit from reading with an adult one-to-one. The volunteers enable us to reach out more personally to each student. I appreciate their service to our school.”
While the aim of the programme is focused on helping students, the reality is they are not the only ones learning something new.
Mr Morrison said: “The benefit to us is that we are exposed to the young kids in our community. It is an eye-opener for us. You forget what it was like.”
From the students’ perspective, reading with the volunteers helps them tackle more challenging books and enables them to get instant feedback to their questions.
One student, Calum, said: “If you come across a word you don’t know, you can get the meaning of it and learn a new word.”
Another student, Maddie, agrees.
She said: “I enjoy reading with Mr Morrison. He tells me what words mean. Once I say the word and know its definition, I understand better.”