Chantal Screen (left) One To One volunteer

Chantal Screen (left) One To One volunteer

Boosting reading success

One to One children's literacy program offered in English and in French in Vernon School District

The One To One children’s literacy program wants all Beairsto School students to be able to say, “J’aime lire.”

The One To One program encourages students who are reluctant readers in schools around the district to learn to love reading. The program, sponsored by the Junction Literacy Centre, needs volunteers who are French speakers to be able to provide the program for French-immersion students, as well as volunteers for the English reading program.

“I think that the teachers (volunteers) are helping you a lot,” said Clark LeJeune, Grade 3 Beairsto student, while Aidan Yawney, Grade 2, said, “It’s fun and helps you practise.”

There had not been a program at Beairsto school for several years until this fall when Chantal Screen, who has children at the school, asked about it. She became a volunteer  and school coordinator and hopes there will be more volunteers for the school.

“This program lets the students have a time where they can read at their own pace for enjoyment and feel special. They look forward to it. I want more children to have this. We have a lot of children on a wait list,” she said.

The students, who do not receive other specialized reading help from school district staff, are selected by teachers, who, with the resource teacher and school coordinators, are available to assist volunteers.

“The volunteers are a great support. They work with students who are not meeting grade expectations. These children need a little more support and attention. This is a very well-designed program,” said Beairsto School resource teacher Rita Eng.

Amy Doylend is the new Junction Literacy Centre assistant outreach literacy coordinator and One To One District coordinator.

“It’s very important for students to have this time with the volunteers. There’s always a need for more volunteers at all schools,” she said.

Kirsti Kirkness, former One To One district coordinator, said parents appreciate the program and the volunteers.

“One of the parents told me that One To One had taken reading in their home from chaos to joy.”

The training, for English and French speakers, is about three hours long, with the first of three sessions taking place Jan. 17. The time commitment for volunteers is one-and-a-half hours a week, one morning or afternoon a week, during school hours. Substitutes are available for vacations or illness. For more information contact Debbie Schiller, executive director, Junction Literacy Centre, at 250-275-3117 or or district coordinator Amy Doylend at 250-275-3117  or or see