Reading for Life program 2018


Hello, my name is Richard Mucha. I was principal at St Mary’s Primary School Hastings for about 20 years until retiring in 2017. As you may know a number of children within our town face social and educational disadvantage. Over the past twelve years all Hastings’ primary schools, Western Port Secondary College and the early years services, together with Good Shepherd, the Rotary Club and many other agencies have worked together in the Linking Schools and Early Years (LSEY) partnership. Our philosophy is: It takes a village to raise a child; if a child lives in Hastings, they are our joint responsibility. From this philosophy we have developed a whole town approach, encompassing many strategies, to educating the children of the town. This has proven to be extremely successful.


Hastings’ schools are keen to engage volunteers from the community to become Reading Buddies for participating students (following the completion of a three hour training session) in each of Hastings’ primary schools: Wallaroo Primary School, St Mary’s Primary School, Hastings Primary School.


Each week, at a regular time, students will meet individually with their Reading Buddy to read and complete enjoyable reading activities for 45-60 minutes. Fifteen sessions will be conducted on school premises within school time over 15 school weeks (or, if Reading Buddies prefer, two sessions per week over 8 school weeks, or any other combination that works for both the volunteer and school. Some volunteers go on holiday for a few weeks then come back. This too is fine).


Dates for this year’s program are:


-Friday 20th July, volunteer training, 9.15am-12.30pm, at St Mary’s Primary School.

-Week commencing Mon 23rd July volunteer orientation at schools.

-Week commencing Mon 30th July, volunteers commence working with their buddies (15 sessions in total). Sessions to be completed by Friday 7th December.

-Week commencing Monday 10th December, post program party.


Please note: All volunteers require a Working with Children clearance. This is free for volunteers and can be accessed via www.justice.vic.gov.au/workingwithchildren

Volunteers will also need to read and sign Child Safe Standards policies and the Code of Conduct policy at the school they volunteer at.


If you would like more information about the program or to volunteer, please contact me: 0407 309 782 or rijack@bigpond.com We (Hastings’ schools) hope that you share our excitement about the Reading for Life program, it has helped hundreds of children in our town over the last eight years, whilst being enjoyable for our volunteers.


Yours sincerely,

Richard Mucha.