Meet a Local Volunteer – Royden Wood, Gladstone Literacy Centre

Meet a Local Volunteer – Royden Wood, Gladstone Literacy Centre

Name: Royden Wood

Where do you volunteer? Gladstone Literacy Centre

How long have you been volunteering there for?

“When the literacy centre started in 2001 I was the Deputy Principal of State High,” Royden said.

“I was at the other end of it. I had students from the school going to the centre. Back then I thought: “that is something I would like to do when I retire.”

Royden joined the Literacy Centre’s team of volunteers in 2003 and has helped out as a reading mentor and volunteer ever since.

Why do you choose to volunteer?

Royden said his lifelong love of learning made the Literacy Centre a natural choice for volunteering. “I was a teacher all my life and I enjoyed teaching kids and imparting knowledge, or whatever it was,” he said.

He is one of a team of volunteers who read one-on-one with the Year 3 and 4 students who attend the Literacy Centre’s eighteen-week program.

Consistent and regular opportunities to read with a volunteer is one of the trademarks of the program and it clearly works, with students this term improving their reading comprehension by an average of 29 months.

What is your favourite thing about volunteering

“I think that the good thing about it is to see the reward you get at the end. The smile on their faces and the confidence they develop at the end when their reading improves,” Royden said.

“As a teacher, we know that if a child can read, they are able to do all their other subjects and in the future that will lead to a good job,” he said.

“We know that this is working well, we’re going to get results from it. We haven’t had a failure yet, as far as I know!”

What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?

“If you have a love of reading, do join in because it’s an opportunity to pass that on to the younger generation and that is a very worthwhile activity,” he said.