Vol­un­teers in run­ning for award

South Western Times - - News -

HANDS Up 4 Kids Bun­bury and its 170 vol­un­teers have cap­tured the at­ten­tion of the WA Re­gional Achieve­ment and Com­mu­nity Awards judges after be­ing named in the top three fi­nal­ists of the RAC Vol­un­teer­ing Award cat­e­gory.

Hands Up 4 Kids Bun­bury joins fel­low cat­e­gory fi­nal­ists Cor­po­rate First Aid, Grav­ity Etc. and Spe­cial Olympian Josef Ban­dera, of Aus­tralind, to rep­re­sent Greater Bun­bury in the Statewide com­pe­ti­tion, with winners to be an­nounced at the Hy­att Re­gency in Perth on Oc­to­ber 20.

Hands Up 4 Kids is a read­ing pro­gram which re­cruits vol­un­teers to lis­ten to pri­mary school stu­dents read out aloud to ex­pand read­ing lev­els, flu­ency, and en­thu­si­asm for read­ing.

Re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Jan Akac­zonek said she was “de­lighted” to be named as a fi­nal­ist and was pleased to see her vol­un­teers recog­nised.

“The fo­cus was very much on our vol­un­teers and quite hon­estly if we didn’t have our vol­un­teers, we wouldn’t ex­ist,” she said.

“We all want to see chil­dren suc­ceed and make an im­prove­ment in their lives by help­ing to raise their lit­er­acy stan­dards.”

Ms Akac­zonek said they asked their vol­un­teers to give a min­i­mum of one hour a week vol­un­teer­ing, but the ma­jor­ity go above and be­yond what is ex­pected of them.

“Lack of lit­er­acy has feel­ers that go out into the com­mu­nity in lots of dif­fer­ent ar­eas, so it is a very im­por­tant thing and I think our vol­un­teers un­der­stand that.”

“It’s very re­ward­ing – the chil­dren are al­ways pleased to see them, they look for­ward to read­ing to our vol­un­teers and some­times they even com­pete to be the first one to do it.”

The pro­gram is im­ple­mented across 17 schools in Greater Bun­bury and any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing can call 0499 240 371 for more in­for­ma­tion.

Pic­ture Jon Gell­weiler

Hands Up 4 Kids vol­un­teer Jude Smith, pres­i­dent Jan Ped­er­son and re­gional co­or­di­na­tor Jan Akac­zonek cel­e­brate reach­ing the finals of the WA Re­gional Achieve­ment and Com­mu­nity Awards.

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