Newton Poppleford reading scheme seeks more isolated listener

PUBLISHED: 16:32 25 December 2016

Yvette Salter at home. Ref shs 49-16TI 3217. Picture: Terry Ife

Yvette Salter at home. Ref shs 49-16TI 3217. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

A scheme linking isolated residents with pupils keen to improve their reading skills is appealing for more volunteers.

Edie McGowan, eight, is one of the readers in Newton Poppleford Primary School's silver stories schemeEdie McGowan, eight, is one of the readers in Newton Poppleford Primary School's silver stories scheme

Newton Poppleford Primary School now has half a dozen listeners on the other end of a phoneline for ‘Silver stories’, which sees youngsters read stories and poems to improve their communication skills during their lunchtimes.

Yvette Salter was the first listener to sign up after hearing about the scheme at the village’s monthly lunch club.

The great-grandmother, who previously helped unemployed people with their literacy, said: “My first thought was, what a brilliant scheme. Reading is important and this is giving them confidence.

“It makes the children feel valued because someone is listening to them.

“You hear a new story every time, it’s delightful. I hope it’s doing a bit of good.”

One of the readers, Edie McGowan, said: “I like reading the stories – it makes me happy to make someone else happy and it’s building my confidence in reading different stories.”

Launching the scheme in June, reading champion Donna Habbishaw said all you need is a telephone, a comfy chair and a good listening ear. She told the Herald: “The support from the parents for this scheme has been very positive. We have a few regular reading children and some that I will rotate depending on their individual circumstances.

“Not only is it building confidence for some of the children and helping them with their fluency, but it can also be a positive escape for children who enjoy reading and need a break from their everyday tasks.

“We would also welcome any new listeners and anyone who would benefit from this scheme to contact the school – not necessarily from village of Newton Poppleford but also from the surrounding areas.”

Anyone interested in participating can contact the school on 01395 568300 or library@newton-poppleford.devon.sch.uk


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