Learn Together Cymru boasts over 500 Learning Volunteers who give a couple of hours a week of their time to help children and young people one-to-one with their reading, maths, languages or other subjects and activities, in schools and in family and community learning settings across Wales.
In the media age and with an ever demanding curriculum, reading is increasingly put on the back-burner. Along with this, more children are living in the UK where English is not their first language. Promoting reading while still young – for children across the UK – is important in order for reading to become an established part of their development into adulthood. Children also struggling with topics like maths and languages are given assistance on a needs-basis.
Listening to children read for just 10 minutes a day improves their reading age, overall ability, confidence and love of learning.
Learn Together Cymru volunteers build relationships with the children and young people, helping them to feel more confident and reassured if they make a mistake. Volunteers are trained, and given tips and tricks along with resources to help ease them into their role and feel confident in their teaching abilities.
Recently, Learn Together Cymru launched a new initiative in association with the Carmarthenshire Therapy Dogs called, Reading with Dogs. Often, children struggling with reading don’t feel comfortable reading to an adult in case they make mistakes. By using the volunteer canine listeners, children feel less self-conscious and find more enjoyment in reading, and of course, the dogs love it too.