Volunteers are helping international children at De Wilderen primary school in Waalre improve their Dutch through weekly reading sessions.
The “read with me” project is an initiative started by the Eindhoven Library (Bibliotheek Eindhoven) to help combat a lack of proficiency in Dutch. This is most common among children who speak another primary language at home.
Philip, from Russia, is one example of this. His family speaks only Russian at home. Thanks to the library’s initiative, his Dutch fluency is now improving. Two other children in his class, from Morocco and Romania, are also taking part.
Listening practice and discussion help the children learn new words. “Reading aloud is essential for children’s language development. Books contain a whole new world to dive into, which promotes concentration and imagination”, Eindhoven Library writes.
Four volunteers guide between twelve and fifteen children at De Wilderen. Their teacher backed the project, highlighting the one-on-one aspect that teachers themselves are usually too busy for.
Translation: Nicola W