Students living in the City of Gosnells were benefiting from a peer-reading program, which had a 95 per cent success rate according to Smith family general manager Lorna Woodley.
The program, student to student, paired student readers from years three to eight with a trained buddy who listened to their reading over the phone two to three times per week for 18 weeks.
Almost 1000 students across the country recently started this year’s program with 16 pairs coming from Gosnells.
The Gosnells students were all matched with students from Methodist ladies college.
Ms Woodley said the annual program had produced outstanding results, with 95 per cent of last year’s participants improving their reading and 59 per cent doubling their reading progress.
“Reading skills are crucial to a child’s capacity to engage in learning and yet, across Australia, we know that one in ten students in years three, five, seven and nine, from disadvantaged backgrounds do not meet national minimum reading standards,” she said.
“For these children, the gap in essential language and literacy skills affects their ability to fully participate in their education.
“Student to student is a highly effective, early intervention and low cost approach.”