Student Support

OttawaReads

Introducing children to the magic of reading – and honing valuable literacy skills at the same time.

OttawaReads is an early literacy program that inspires a love of reading in children in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms. OttawaReads volunteers, from employer-supported and public sector reading teams, read aloud to children in a one-to-one setting weekly in Ottawa schools helping children to develop essential literacy skills, build closer connections to their community, and appreciate that reading is fun.

About the Program

Need

Approximately 15% of students in every Ottawa classroom have learning challenges, and may be at risk of falling behind their peers in school and becoming part of the 13% of students that do not complete high school. Additionally, many refugees, new Canadians, and Canadians for whom English is an additional language, start school without pre-literacy skills, and/or need additional English language learning support.

Response

This year, more than 200 volunteers will work with English language learners, including hundreds of Syrian refugees with limited pre-literacy skills. In addition, 150 OttawaReads volunteers will spend time each week, reading aloud to children in a one-to-one setting.

Impact

ONFE’s ability to respond to the immediate and ongoing, complex needs of educators and students is an important piece in removing barriers that inhibit learning. The OttawaReads program ensures that all youth have the chance to finish school with the tools, knowledge and skills they need to complete their studies and go on to fulfilling careers.

Volunteer with OttawaReads

OttawaReads recruits volunteer readers from the corporate and public sectors to read aloud to children in kindergarten through grade 3. (Individuals that wish to volunteer to read aloud are welcome to apply through the Ottawa Volunteers in Education program). After attending an orientation and training session at their place of work, volunteers fulfill a weekly or bi-weekly one-hour commitment to read one-to-one with students in local schools. Each participating organization partners with a school in their own geographic location. The number of volunteers requested from each organization is based upon the size of the company and the requirements of the partnering school.

Let us know if you or your company/organization would like to have a corporate presentation on OttawaReads by contacting Lee-Ann Scott  at lscott@onfe-rope.ca or by calling 613-366-3085 x253.

Preschool teacher teaching her children about geography by using globe. Children asking questions.

“A lot of children in our public schools are from immigrant families; and I was one of them. Growing up, my parent couldn’t read to me in English. So I know how crucial it is to have reading programs like OttawaReads in schools. Reading is an invaluable skill – and the simplicity of spending an hour reading aloud to students is wonderful. I’m so pleased to be able to share the joy of reading with them.”

— Doris Ramphos, District Realty

You Can Help Students Succeed

Support us in recruiting, screening, and training volunteers to provide much-needed one-to-one support for students with learning challenges. Your contribution helps us to support volunteers, teachers, and students alike.

Volunteer with OttawaReads

If you have a team of readers who would like to volunteer, please call Lee-Ann Scott at 613-366-3085 x253 for information and to arrange specialized training.

Please note that all volunteer positions require careful screening and a Police Vulnerable Sector Check (PVSC).