OSS – reading from children’s books and gradually switching to reading them. In short, that’s what LeesExpeditie has been doing at Oss ten years ago. Party time!
“Please don’t just sit and read for an hour. In the middle, play a game or sing a song or go out together. Because that’s where you learn Dutch too.” Julie Goosen hates strict regulations. The volunteers at LeesExpeditie, which I started in 2012, must above all get the job done themselves. As long as the child becomes more proficient in the language.
An average of 80 to a hundred children are included in the reading journey, which is part of Ons Welzijn. Schools, advisory offices and youth services refer them to Goosen’s ‘reading club’. We started it ten years ago after we received four thousand euros from Rabobank. We mainly bought books from them. Volunteers are attached to the children. They visit the children’s homes for an hour each week to encourage them to read.”
On Wednesday, for their 10th anniversary, these volunteers received a lunch at the De Haard Community Center on Osse Ruwaard. After that, there was a treasure hunt with the children in the neighborhood park, and concluded with a joint party.
“Kids fly around my neck when I come. It’s a rewarding job. Really delicious.” Lola Romijnders is one of the first volunteers at LeesExpedition Oss. It has been linked to many families over the years. Most of them are of foreign origin, but also a Dutch boy with a significant language delay. He found it difficult and did not want to read. When I left, he was reading Harry Potter. This is awesome, isn’t it? “
Rumijenders (68) was a personnel officer during her career. After my retirement I really wanted to mean something to my fellow man. I’ve signed up as a volunteer for the Visitor Service for Lonely Elderly and the Children’s Reading Journey. Both are very rewarding activities. You really build a relationship with a family during LeesExpedition. It often takes years before you let them go.”
Little Red Riding Hood is Ravensteinse’s favorite reading book. “I’ll start with that. After that, there are all kinds of interesting and beautiful books. But Little Red Riding Hood keeps coming back when I ask what the kids want to hear. I’ve read it a thousand times. Can the story be dreaming in the meantime.”
Five years ago, Sevara Haji Shekhu, 21, did not speak a single word of Dutch, and now she helps others with reading and understanding the language. After we came here, I immediately learned Dutch and started volunteering next to the school. At home, I also speak Dutch as much as possible with my brothers and sisters. This helps,” explains Al Kurdi from Syria. “Besides Kurdish and Dutch, I speak Arabic and Turkish as well.”
Haji Sheikho doesn’t care much about the background of the children she works with. “I’ve been thinking about becoming a teacher for a while. I even did an internship at Tourmalijn in Heesch. But it turns out that education doesn’t suit me and I’m now studying to be a lawyer. But I quickly click with young children. It actually comes naturally.”
Her favorite book is Bedtime Stories for Rebellious Girls. “What I like about it is that it is about girls from different cultures going their own way. The stories are understandable and based on real events. One goes on a trip and the other takes off her veil. This also appeals to many children.”
If you’ve been studying for 45 years, you’ve probably finished teaching. Not Tony Van Erb (71) of Geffen. As a volunteer, I signed up for Ons Willseigen’s Reading Expedition. “The great thing is: I can fill it the way I want and get more satisfaction as a result.”
About five years ago, the arrival of a Syrian family in Geffen was the direct reason why Van Erb joined his reading expedition. Then I accompanied a girl and now I have a boy under my care. His name is Muhammad and he is eleven years old. He has literally become a kid in the house with us. During the corona period, I had to physically distance myself from him and his family and that was not possible with him. He’s been coming to my house ever since. We both love it. He just read a quest during a scavenger hunt. His mother was proudly elated.”
Jip and Janneke The Good Old Man was and remains Tonnie van Erp’s favorite reading book. The book is as old as me. Some people find it dated. This is true with some stories. But the lyrics are short and clear. When Jip and Janneke first meet in the hole in the fence, he is recognizable by all. We’ll continue from that starting point and together we can laugh at the way weird phones used to be.”
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