Kids' reading improved with peer support

Book worms: Salvation and Revival Mafutaga-Ulaula taking part in the student2student program. Picture: Simon Bennett

Book worms: Salvation and Revival Mafutaga-Ulaula taking part in the student2student program. Picture: Simon Bennett

THE Smith Family has been implementing the student2student reading program for children in Liverpool.

The program matches children assessed as being up to two years behind in their reading development with reading tutors.

The pair connect over mobile phones donated by Optus to read to each other two to three times a week, for at least 20 minutes at a time, for 18 weeks.

The Smith Family general manager Steve Macready said student2student was producing "outstanding results".

"A major recent study of student2student showed that 93 per cent of participants improved their reading, with two-thirds boosting their reading age by more than six months," he said.

"In 2014, our student2student program will match 255 primary school children with reading buddies across 29 locations in NSW including Liverpool."

One student, Salvation Mafutaga-Ulaula, 11, said since starting the program, she now looks forward to reading.

"The student2student program has helped me memorise, summarise and learn big words," she said.

"I now borrow books from the library and my favourite series is Unbelievable by Paul Jennings."

Her sister Revival, 9, said the reading program really helped with her school work.

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