Yishun Reading Stars (YRS) is a Regular Volunteering Programme conducted in partnership with Yishun Students Care Service (SCS), under a programme known as Reading Odyssey. NUS volunteers support SCS in planning and executing reading activities for this programme.
During the sessions, volunteers guide a group of P1 to P3 mainstream school children in various reading activities and cognitive-skills games. These children often present with weak literacy skills and low interest in reading.
We have about 8 core sessions per semester. In addition, there is also a fun-filled end-of-year camp in December and a major outing in June every year!
The Reading Odyssey programme aims to provide at-risk readers with (i) regular and consistent exposure to books and (ii) increased reading opportunities with adult volunteers.
The first half of the session is Guided Reading, where each volunteer is attached to a child to guide the child in reading a book. The focus is on helping to increase the child's ability to read for knowledge, so that eventually, they develop an interest and motivation to read!
The next half of the session is spent on Group Story-telling and Cognitive-skills Games. Volunteers gather in groups to conduct story-telling sessions for the children. The books would revolve around the country of the week. This fun-filled activity will often be supplemented with interesting props to demonstrate to children that reading can be enriching and enjoyable at the same time! Under the guidance of the staff in-charge, volunteers then facilitate games that help to develop children's cognitive skills that are closely related to reading skills, such as visual and auditory memory.
But there's much more to YRS!
Besides the regular sessions, we also organise consolidation parties to end off the semesters! During the party, there will still be regular activities such as 1-1 guided reading, group story-telling and cognitive-skills games. However there will be a special segment at the end where we present certificates of achievements to the children to acknowledge and reward them for their hard work and effort over the course of our 8 sessions.
In addition, we also organised outings to places such as to the Botanic Gardens, Changi Airport and Singapore Sports Hub. This is to let children have fun and learn interesting things that they do not get to learn in school, get exposure to different places around Singapore and at the same time, enabling volunteer-child bonding.
That's not all! At the end of every year, we will hold a fun packed camp for the children and volunteers! Last year, the kids (and volunteers) enjoyed a science-themed camp where the children are exposed to various science related station games. On the second day, they had the opportunity to visit gallop stables and ride ponies, play with rabbits and also learn more about the animals at the stable. This allowed the children to gain exposure and do things they usually do not get to do.
Volunteers and children visiting gallop stables on AY14/15 Camp day 2
Students Care Service (Yishun)
Blk. 202, Yishun Street 22, #01-89
(Near Yishun MRT Station, opposite Yishun Golden Village Cinema)
Every Friday, 7PM - 10PM