“It’s helped me a lot in reading. It’s made me more confident reading in front of people and my reading comprehension is way, way better. I also have the joy of reading now, whereas when I was younger, it was something I had to be forced to do. Now, I can read anything I want, without having to struggle. I feel comfortable with Cheryl. She’s not just a tutor- she’s a friend now too. She’s fun, has good humour, and she puts up with a lot (well, me ). She’s patient and will help me through mistakes, and in learning new words.”
Strong, positive (and humourous) feedback offered by Kayci, who’s been working with her volunteer, Cheryl Gibeault, in the TD Read With Me program at Calgary Public Library since March 2009. They currently comprise the longest-standing match in the program. For five years, the pair have met for an hour a week at their community Library, to read together and build Kayci’s literacy skills. Kayci graduated from the program at the end of June 2014.
That’s bittersweet for Kayci’s parents, Corri-Lynn and Brad, who are sad the program doesn’t continue beyond Gr. 6: “This program has been such a blessing and so helpful for our kids. They’ve benefited from good mentorship, found a love of reading, and there’s a genuine connection that forms between the volunteer and child. It’s just been a positive experience for our family.”
Cheryl emphasizes that the benefits flow both ways: “I’ve loved working with Kayci. What’s not to love about her? She’s a sweetheart! We’ve had laughs, and it’s really rewarding to see ‘the light bulb go on’. She’s super-cooperative, and Brad and Corri-Lynn have been very supportive. One-on-one is the ideal teaching situation, in that you can work at the pace of the student.”
Congratulations, Kayci, on all your hard work, over so many years! And thank you, Cheryl, for your commitment and dedication in volunteering with such competence for so long for Calgary Public Library!