The 2017/8 semester of the nationwide business to schools reading initiative, ‘Time to Read’, was recently launched. This is the fourth year Friends First have participated in this programme and a new set of volunteers have been paired with pupils from St. Colmcilles National School in Loughlinstown who will be participating in the programme this year.
What is Time to Read?
The Time to Read programme has been developed by Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) to enthuse and help children from national primary schools with their reading and communication skills by engaging volunteers from a local business.
Friends First volunteers spend quality time each week assisting 7 and 8 year old pupils from St. Colmcilles National School in the following areas:
Increasing their enjoyment of reading
Increasing confidence in reading
Improving and encouraging self-discovery
Improving fluency and comprehension when reading
Speaking about the launch of this year’s programme, Conal Brennan, the community CSR co-ordinator in Friends First commended the initiative saying “The programme promotes enjoyment and confidence in reading and helps in the childrens fluency and comprehension. This is the fourth year that we have done the programme and it is an excellent example of how Friends First is working with the local schools as part of our overall CSR Programme.”
Friends in the Community
Friends First believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not just a function or department but a philosophy integrated into our company. As part of our overall CSR programme we are dedicated to ensuring we have a positive impact on the community in which we operate. As an employer invested in the development and well-being of our staff, we also want to see children have the best educational start so that they can reach their full potential. The feedback we have received from participants of the Time to Read programme to date has been overwhelmingly positive.
“I had such a great time on this programme. The children were so lovely, genuinely interested and happy to be getting the 1 on 1 time. It was an incredibly fulfilling experience and it made my day to be going to the school. It was an honour to have had the opportunity to participate in this programme.”
“As an avid lifelong reader, the Time to Read programme was a fantastic opportunity to encourage a love of, and confidence in, reading – a wonderful source of enjoyment, but also a critical life skill. The enthusiastic engagement of the students in the process was particularly rewarding, and the benefit of the programme was clearly reflected in the unanimously positive feedback from all involved.”