03 June 2019

For eight years now I have been volunteering as a reading buddy.

This year I am reading with a second year pupil at Barton Hill Academy, which involves going to the school every other week during term-time for a 30 minute reading session.

It is so rewarding to see your reading buddy grow in confidence as they work their way up through the reading levels.

The vagaries of the English language can sometimes be a challenge. For example how do you explain that although the letters in the word 'leopard' have been correctly sounded out, it is actually pronounced leppard. The 'that’s silly' comment wasn’t one I felt I could dispute!

There have been occasions where I have had to put some negotiation skills into practice, for example, one week my reading buddy wanted to dance with a teddy bear rather than read. Our compromise? We read a story to teddy.

The experience isn’t all about reading though as you are also encouraged to factor in some time to chat with your reading buddy. This is often where their imagination really kicks in as I’ve had some very interesting conversations on a variety of subjects from vampires, to house design and lipstick.

I have found 'Reading Buddy' to be a really enjoyable and rewarding experience and I would thoroughly recommend anyone who has an interest in reading to get involved.

Ruth Sumner
Management PA

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