Call for volunteer buddies to help make a difference

Imagine if you couldn’t read or count? This is the daily struggle for many young students in schools. Learning Links is calling for volunteer reading and counting buddies to help children with literacy and numeracy problems in schools across Sydney and the Central Coast.

Learning Links’ Reading for Life and Counting for Life programs can be life changing for participating children, said Learning Links CEO, Birgitte Maibom.

“Our programs target children in Years 2 to 5 struggling with numeracy and literacy. Without sufficient reading, literacy and numeracy skills, children are at a high risk of disengaging from education altogether. If children don’t acquire the necessary skills at an early age, the gap between them and their peers widens as they get older.

“We are calling for volunteers to become reading and counting buddies at their local primary schools for just 45 minutes across 10-15 weeks to help children improve their literacy and numeracy skills. This is a shortterm commitment that provides wonderful long-term benefits as you help a child reach their full potential.

“Reading is one of the key foundations for learning. Low literacy levels can have severe impacts on a child and their future.

“The latest results from the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), show that Australia was one of 18 countries to improve its reading levels. However, in 2011, Australia was ranked 27 out of 45 countries and is now in the 21st spot out of 50 countries indicating students with the lowest literacy levels still have not made any gains.

Reading for Life is teaching children to read and feel better about themselves as learners. On average children who have participated in the Reading for Life program have made gains on their reading accuracy by up to 8 months.

Counting for Life is teaching children to count and to apply their numeracy skills. On average children who have participated in the Counting for Life program have made gains in their numerical operations by up to 10 months.

Success through the Learning Links programs not only will see gains in a child’s literacy and numeracy skills, the programs work to build a child’s confidence, to engage with education and become positive learners.

To become a Reading Buddy or Counting Buddy please contact Learning Links via email on or call 8525 8222 or visit

Learning Links is a not-for-profit charitable organisation established in 1972 by parents concerned about the lack of appropriate education and support services for children with learning difficulties. Learning Links works with these children, their families and schools offering tailored programs and services to improve the children’s learning, wellbeing and participation helping them reach their full potential.