ReadUP’s mission is to provide children with access to free reading support that complements and consolidates the literacy learning they receive in school. We work directly in Toronto communities to assist children, many from newcomer families, as they acquire the skills they need to become confident and successful readers. We encourage their motivation to read for sheer pleasure, and provide counsel to parents on how best to support their children’s reading acquisition.
Responses to ReadUP
Sheilah, you are patient with the kids and you build up their confidence. My son has improved dramatically over the past year. He has gone from dreading the task of reading, to us getting him a book light because he likes to read chapter books independently before bed.
I was also able to bring my 3 other boys with us to ReadUP and we got one of them started early so he loves reading too. Such a great program! We will be back when my younger two start learning to read.
Thank you again!”
– Kerry Lally
“We like this program. It’s close to home. I have five kids in this program.”
“The Reading Club is very good. My daughter loves it. It helps her in SK’s study. Now she is not as shy as before. My son is improving his reading skills from the Reading Club.”
– parent of 9-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter
“At home, my children like to bring out the books and read on their own. When they start reading, they all calm down.”
– parent of 8-year-old twin sons, 5-year-old daughter
“I like getting the levelled books in the reading club because I can’t get books with different levels at the library.”
“The Reading Club helps my children’s reading skills. The older one can help the younger one with reading. When they have time, they will pick up the books and re-read them again. Before they go to bed, they will read the books again.”
– parent of 11-, 8-, and 5-year-old daughters
“My children like to read the books from the Reading Club. As they read the books, they watch less TV at home.”
– parent of 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, 5-year-old daughter, 3-year-old daughter
“My daughter came from China. She started as a non English speaker and now she can read Level K books in three years. She likes to read books. I also learn from the books that she reads.”
– parent of 8-year-old daughter, 3-year-old son
“I like the Reading Club. The Reading Club helps my children and me a lot. Since my son went to JK up to Grade 7, he didn’t know how to read. At that time, I didn’t know how to get help. My English was not good. After he came to the Reading Club, his reading skills gradually improved. Now he is reading Grade 6’s English text book. I also benefited from the Reading Club. Through helping my son in his reading, I learned my English at the same time. Now, I’m about the same level as my son in English. My daughter started joining Reading Club when she was about 3 years old. Her English is very good now. She feels reading is very easy and she enjoys reading very much. She is in Level 10 in the Reading Club. The school teacher only gave me one comment about her: “Excellent”. I believe the Reading Club can help so many people.”
“My child started when she was 3 ½ year. Now she is a good reader and also this program can make more interest for the books.”
– Mrs. H.
“When my older son was only three years old we started attending a reading club which was offered free of charge through our local parent drop-in centre. He began with alphabet books and then moved on to Level 1 books, and over the years he has worked his way up. The method the program used was wonderful. The children were moved along slowly from one level to another with such positive support and encouragement. I think it was so successful for my son in particular because it built his confidence as a reader and made it a fun and positive experience. I was so impressed with the program that I joined as a volunteer.”
“Since my son and my daughter started going to the reading program, I notice a big improvement with their reading skills. Teachers at school even comment on how well my son reads. With this program I also have the opportunity to read different books to my children every night.”
– Mrs. F.
“The reading club means a lot for me. My children are going in this club almost 5 years. At the beginning, they had a lot of difficulty with reading but it helped them to read fluently. Now my son is 10 years and my daughter is 8 years. Not only my children, it has changed my goal. As an immigrant, I was confused to choose my career. Once I started volunteering in reading club, I realized that working with children is a right profession for me. Therefore, I go back to school. Now I am doing second semester of ECE program. I am very lucky to get a chance to say something about the reading club.”
“I think that this program is useful because my child’s reading skill has improved ever since I began to take him to the centre. I would highly recommend that this program be available to children at other centres so they can benefit such as my child. Thank you!”
“The community is growing and anyone who needs help can get a chance to improve their reading. I personally like this program, I believe all parents like it too. Thank you for your understanding about how to help the children in the reading program.”
“As a former elementary school teacher and a literacy specialist, I was delighted to learn about a neighbourhood reading program that parallels many early literacy programs in Toronto schools. The ReadUP club is a wonderful opportunity for children to experience success in learning to read through levelled books. Many children progress rapidly and I recall a few kindergarten age children who were fluently reading books at a grade two level. There is much need for variety in both fiction and non-fiction text as Sheilah assembles her bags. The more interesting books that she can collect, the more selection the children have, and the more they read. This program is especially valuable in neighbourhoods in Toronto where books are not commonplace in the home.”
“I am a senior living close to the Parent Resources Centre and volunteer for the ReadUP club once a week. For nearly 40 years I was a secretary in one of the clinics at Sick Kids Hospital and enjoy having lots of children around and watching their progress. I often sit at the window bar at Tim Horton’s and watch the world go by while sipping my “Iced Cap” and reading the paper. Sometimes I’m attracted by a frantic waving and it is one of the little “readers” who has spotted me. I grew up in a small town and it is nice to be recognized when you are out in the neighbourhood.”
“The reading club was a great experience for me, and I reflect on it often now that I am working on my Bachelor of Education at York University. By working with so many kids of differing abilities, I was able to practice supporting students with many aspects of reading. It was great, because throughout the year, I actually saw real improvements, and watched kids develop a love of books. The energy of the kids, parents and volunteers made the program fun. I would highly recommend the program to families and those looking for a great place to volunteer. It is a popular program, and very well organized.”
“I very much enjoy volunteering with the reading program. By giving children books at the right level, the program sets the stage for the children to succeed. As a result, the children like to come to the drop-in and are motivated to read with the volunteers. This makes for a happy experience for the children and the volunteers.”
“I have had the great opportunity to volunteer in Sheilah’s reading program, and through my experiences, I have been able to directly see what a huge asset she is with regard to promoting literacy in the community. Through her program I have witnessed struggling readers quickly advancing and ultimately reaching the same reading level as their peers. I’ve seen children develop confidence and pride in their reading abilities and successes, but most of all, I’ve seen both boys and girls steadily develop an enjoyment and pleasure for the act of reading that will undoubtedly stay long with them and help to significantly support their ongoing academic success in school.”
“I’m a high school student volunteering for my student hours. I’ve been attending the reading program since 2005 as a student/reader, but now I attend the program as a volunteer after five years. The reading program is a program that helps kids achieve higher reading skills.”
“I think the reading club is great because you help people learn to read. I also think the reading club is great because you help people understand that reading is a great thing.”
“I love the reading club. It helps me read better.”
“When I was small I used to be on Level 1 and now I’m on chapter books.”
“ReadUP helped me. When I was on Level 1, I was having trouble. But now I am on chapter books!”
“The reading club has many nice books.”
“I like it. It learns me to read.”
And some of the hand-written notes that we have received from children:
“Dear Sheilah and Volunteers,
Thank you for helping me with my reading. It’s been so helpful. I am reading chapter books at home.”
“Thank you for teaching me and I want to thank you for teaching me how to read. AND I LOVE READING.”
“Thank you for helping me with my reading this year. Have a nice summer. See you in September.”
“We like the book club. We enjoyed it. Thank you.”
“Reading club is great because I get to read. Reading is fun for me. I love reading.”
It is amazing to see so many participants reading with the volunteers, and to see the excitement in the children as they improve their reading levels.
Thank you so much to Sheilah Currie, the founder of the club, and Joanne Murphy, the volunteer coordinator, for all their hard work in bringing ReadUP to our school community.”
– Chris O’Shaughnessy – Vice-Principal