A group of teenagers were honoured at the North Grenville Public Library (NGPL) last Thursday for their work teaching children to read. The Reading Buddies program at the NGPL, led by Sue Bergeron (Library Sue), is a project that pairs up high school students with young children who are learning to read. Every Thursday afternoon throughout the school year, the library comes alive with kids enjoying each others company and helping to spread the joy of reading. “It’s my favourite day of the week,” says Sue.
Last Thursday, a local group chose the Reading Buddies as the recipients of their Inspire Project, which recognizes and honours people in the community who inspire others. “[We wanted to] recognize the Reading Buddies for inspiring the children in our community, and Library Sue for being an inspiration to all the children in our community,” says Settlers Life Group member, Jacki Doucette.
The Group thanked the Reading Buddies by providing them with a buffet of baked goods and snacks, and a gift basket for Sue, who says it was a special celebration, because many of the current Reading Buddies are graduating high school this year and moving on the post-secondary education in the Fall. “There have been lots of connections made,” Sue says. “The program means a lot to many people.”
Reading Buddy, Alyssa Bonner, has been volunteering with the program for three years. She said she originally signed up to get her mandatory volunteer hours, but fell in love with helping young children to read. “I love watching their progress,” she says. “They go from not knowing letters to being able to read books.” She has enjoyed the program so much, she has decided to become a teacher and is going to Queen’s University for concurrent education in the Fall.
With so many of the Reading Buddies heading off to university or college, Sue is looking for more high school students for the program. Anyone interested can go and see Sue at the Library in the Fall, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.