#MyReadingHelper – Meet Deena & Inga
11 January, 2018
Meet Deena Chetty, a Volunteer Reading Helper at Claremont Primary School in Cape Town. Deena returned to South Africa after 13 years of living abroad and was overwhelmed by the harsh realities that exist throughout the country.
“Being very disillusioned about the state of the country with rampant corruption, poverty, crime and unemployment, I wanted to immigrate”, admitted Deena. But instead of fleeing the country and its problems, Deena decided to be part of the solution. “I changed my mind and decided to do something meaningful to contribute towards a better South Africa and a better life for all”, he said.
In his search for something meaningful to do, Deen came across help2read. “Being an avid reader and a lover of books, help2read was a natural home for me to make a meaningful contribution towards my goal of a better South Africa”, said Deena. “I discovered that help2read focuses on young minds and that it is a well-run and established organisation with a good track record.”
Deena started volunteering at Claremont Primary School at the beginning of 2017. Over the course of the year, he assisted two Grade 4 learners, including Inga.
“When I first met Deena, I was a bit shy, as I didn’t know what help2read was all about”, Inga explained. “After a few sessions, I got to like Deena and looked forward to seeing him every week.”
When Inga first joined the help2read programme, his reading was at an average level and he lacked confidence, causing him to disengage in class. But after just a few months on the programme and with consistent one-on-one support from his Reading Helper Deena, Inga’s reading dramatically improved.
“He has progressed significantly, so much so, that he engages well and his confidence has sky-rocketed, resulting in a vast improvement in his English Literature”, commented Deena. “He recently received a mark of over 70% compared to the 50% he averaged prior to being on the help2read programme.”
Inga’s improvement in reading has also made a positive impact on his participation in the classroom and overall school performance. What’s more is that thanks to Deena’s reading support, Inga now loves books! “Deena has helped me to enjoy reading and would explain the meaning of words that I didn’t know very well”, said Inga. “I am now very fond of books.”
Inga has also discovered a series of books that he really enjoys, The Diary of A Wimpy Kid. “There are 10 of these books and I have read 5 already”, Inga said proudly. “Deena has helped me to read these books and would make it fun by explaining the pictures and drawings to me.”
This one-on-one interaction, ability to ask lots of questions and explore a book more deeply aren’t possible in a typical school classroom, which is why having a dedicated Reading Helper has made all the difference for young Inga.
Inga’s newfound enjoyment of books is not only a key factor of a good reader, but will likely be instrumental in his future academic success at school.
While Inga is well on his way to becoming an avid reader thanks to the help of his dedicated Reading Helper, Deena too has benefited from volunteering. ”I have received more than I have given”, said Deena. “It is through giving that I have received great satisfaction. Inga has taught me so much more about patience and persistence.”
You too can make a positive difference in the life of a child and be a part of impacting South Africa for good. Sign up to become a Volunteer Reading Helper today. Apply online via our website – https://help2read.org/volunteer-with-us
Registered Non-Profit 063-979 PBO 930027054 UK Charity Reg No. 1109567