Whal­ing on with read­ing

STU­DENTS HELP CHILD LIT­ER­ACY

Cockburn Gazette - - STREET WATCH -

EN­SUR­ING young chil­dren fall in love with read­ing is the goal be­hind a new pro­gram at the Univer­sity of Notre Dame.

Run along­side the Depart­ment for Chil­dren Pro­tec­tion and Fam­ily Sup­port, the Whale of a Tale recre­ational read­ing pro­gram gives Notre Dame ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents a chance to read to and im­prove the lit­er­acy of chil­dren in care.

Notre Dame school of ed­u­ca­tion se­nior lec­turer Glenda Cain said the pro­gram gave pre-ser­vice teach­ers an op­por­tu­nity to spend an hour a week with a child in care, en­joy­ing books and sto­ries.

“The pro­gram gives pre-ser­vice teach­ers from their first year of study an op­por­tu­nity to con­nect with chil­dren and class­rooms very early in their univer­sity stud­ies,” she said.

“Read­ing aloud to chil­dren is well-recog­nised as an im­por­tant way of build­ing many early lit­er­acy and lan­guage con­cepts that will set a child up for fu­ture suc­cess.

“Pre-ser­vice teach­ers take on the role of a ‘real teacher’ very early in their stud­ies and ex­pe­ri­ence the joy of build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with a child as they read to­gether and the child is able to learn early lit­er­acy and lan­guage con­cepts in a mean­ing­ful and en­gag­ing con­text.”

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