Dear Parents and Guardians
The Smith Family ‘Student 2 Student’ Reading Program is a fantastic Service Learning opportunity available to students in Years 7 to 12. The program matches an older student (your son) with a younger student (the Reader) to improve their reading confidence. Your son becomes a Buddy (volunteer peer mentor) reading for 18 weeks with their younger Reader, two times per week for a minimum of 20 minutes each time. Your son can choose the time of day which is convenient for him e.g. after-school on a Monday and a Sunday afternoon. More information for parents and guardians is available here.
To learn about how impactful the program can be for a younger Reader click here.
There are two opportunities to participate in the program in 2023. Details for each phase are as follows:
Phase Dates: Monday 8 May to Friday 29 September
Recruitment end date: students to apply by Monday 27 March
Buddies needed: 140
Phase Dates: Monday 5 June to Friday 20 October
Recruitment end date: students to apply by Monday 1 May
Buddies needed: 80
Please note, if your son is turning 14 before 31 October 2023, he will need a Working With Children Check. Please email me at email@example.com to arrange this for him.
The ‘Student 2 Student’ Reading Program enables your son to volunteer in a safe and supported environment from the comfort of his home, and provides an opportunity for him to support a child in need he might not otherwise interact with.
To register your son for The Smith Family ‘Student 2 Student’ Reading Program, please click here.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Service Learning Coordinator
Below, Caleb (HWD) in Year 8, shares his experience with the program last year:
“Last year I was lucky enough to be a part of one of the best service activities available to us, the Smith Family ‘Student 2 Student’ program. The ‘Student 2 Student’ program is a great opportunity for high school kids like you and me to do some service. The program allows us to be paired with a younger student from around South Australia who is less fortunate than us and struggling with their reading skills. The service required is just two or three 20-minute online reading sessions a week from the comfort of your own home. Through the website provided called Chatty Kids, we can hear our buddies reading, add encouragement and support while also being able to see the book they are reading.
Whether it is helping our buddy on how to pronounce a word, or simply encouraging them when they finish a book, being a part of the student 2 student program truly is a rewarding experience. Last year I was buddied with a year 3 student called Taylor, and he had been having trouble with his concentration when reading. Using Chatty Kids, I was able to find books which he found fun, while also stretching him further with his reading. This made reading an enjoyable experience for Taylor, instead of a chore he was forced into. With his newfound enthusiasm, Taylor was able to surge through the reading levels and by the end of the program he had just about caught up with the rest of his class.
Being a part in Taylor’s journey was an absolute blast. After choosing time slots suitable to us, the service was extremely easy for me, and extremely beneficial to Taylor. Every time I got to tell Taylor he was ready for the next level of reading and hearing his excitement from the other end of the line was amazing. As you can probably tell by now, I really enjoyed the experience, and I hope lots of you guys can join me in this program again this year.”