OttawaReads works with the Early Literacy Program already in place in Ottawa schools. This volunteer-based program takes place within the confines of the school day, typically between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. However there are some schools on an early schedule that may be ready for readers as early as 8:30 am.
Before starting the program, all volunteers receive training in early literacy. This training is delivered by a literacy specialist with deep roots in the community, takes little more than one hour, and is given at the volunteers’ place of work.
All potential volunteers must undergo a thorough reference check and obtain vulnerable sector police check. An Ottawa Network for Education (ONFE) employee will conduct all background checks.
Ideally, schools and businesses are matched within the same geographic area, making it easier for volunteers to travel to and from the school, as well as helping to foster a greater sense of community.
Although the commitment of one hour of reading is weekly, two employees can volunteer-share and read at the school on alternate weeks.
Each participating company/organization will have an in-house coordinator who will oversee the program internally.
When at the school, volunteers will be asked to sign in and out and wear a visitor tag. If a volunteer has company nametag, they are most welcome to wear it.
Note that OttawaReads is designed specifically as a school-business partnership and employees volunteer through their employer. Individuals who wish to volunteer in a school setting outside the scope of this program may do so through the Ottawa Volunteers in Education program.
Lee-Ann Scott, CVA
Director, Volunteer Programs
Phone: 613.366.3085 ext. 253