Mentoring program to help children read

Tara Jeffrey

Marg Johnson is determined to help local children who have fallen behind in school during the pandemic.

“Our elementary students are falling behind in many areas, not the least of which is their reading,” said the coordinator of “Kids Konnection” — a new reading support program at Central Baptist Church in Sarnia.

Canceled classes, online learning and added stressors at home haven’t helped, she said.

Johnson said the church’s Learning and Growth Committee had been considering ways to use the mostly vacant building to help struggling young people in school, after hearing concerns from local teachers.

“If we can take these kids at any reading level and get them addicted to reading to the point where they read 20 minutes every night, eventually they will catch up,” said Johnson, a retired child. & Young worker.

The three-month program begins March 29 and runs Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., for students in grades 1 through 6.

Participants are paired with a mentor for 30 minutes of reading and comprehension.

“It’s mostly retired teachers and grandparents,” Johnson said. “They just want to sit and listen to the kids read.”

Registration is open for 24 places for a monthly fee of $20. Interested parents can call the church at 519-344-1381.

“These kids are going to have this person’s complete, one-on-one attention for three months, every Tuesday, and they’ll know that this person is there, just for them, to help them succeed,” Johnson said. .

“That’s what I want every child to feel – that they are the center of this particular universe.”

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