Staff book slots to help youngsters read

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CALL centre staff have swapped their computers for books to help primary pupils.

Twelve employees from Sunderland’s Fusion Contact Centre Services are giving up their time to volunteer at Highfield Community Primary School in a bid to develop pupils’ literacy skills as part of the Right to Read scheme.

The programme aims to build the children’s confidence through reading with the Fusion volunteers on a weekly basis.

This initiative will mark Fusion’s fourth consecutive year in partnership with Highfield Community Primary School.

The pairing began in December 2010 when Fusion made an initial donation of £20,000 to support the school’s music programme, followed by a further donation of £20,000 in 2012 to invest in new books, mentors and storytellers. Kristian Lee, team leader at Fusion Sunderland, said: “We have worked with Highfield Community Primary School to co-ordinate the Right to Read programme in the past, and following some constructive feedback, this year will see the programme change slightly in format.

“The children will now work with the same volunteer throughout the programme, allowing the volunteers to develop a rapport with them and create a comfortable environment.

“Our employees are always keen to get involved in Right to Read, and each year I see the level of commitment from our volunteers significantly increase.

“It’s rewarding to see the change in the children’s attitudes towards reading; enjoying it instead of seeing it as a chore.”