Natalie from Poole explains what being a reading coach means to her:
I honestly think that I gained just as much, if not more, from the coaching sessions than my reader. This has been one of the most rewarding activities I have ever participated in. I have never been involved in teaching or anything similar before, and would not consider myself a particularly outgoing or talented person, but despite this and not knowing any of the other volunteers, I never felt out of my depth. It never felt like a job or a chore either, and after every session I would leave the library and make my way home with a smile on my face and sense of peace that felt so good and lasted the rest of the day.
I found that spending just half an hour concentrating fully on the progress and achievements of someone else, who would otherwise be a complete stranger to me, was like a mini holiday. I found it so refreshing, it had the effect of pressing the reset button on all thoughts of myself and my own life.
The support from the organisation is fantastic, everything is so well thought out and communicated, and the book is so brilliantly designed that there is no pressure at all on the coach, as it all just works. It is wonderful to see how constant, steady progress can be achieved with just half an hour twice a week; and I can think of few other skills that you could help someone to learn that could be more empowering or life changing.
Occasionally when I am contemplating big issues and feeling weary or disheartened, I find it overwhelmingly sad to think of all the work that would be needed to fix just some of the debilitating problems so many people have to face. However, because this program is so effective, I found my coaching sessions were the perfect antidote to those thoughts.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to participate in this program, witness the results and gain this inspiring and life enriching experience. I am so very grateful to my teachers, mentors and supporters at Read Easy and hope that I shall be able to continue encouraging people to learn to read for as long as there are folks out there that would like some help.