Check out our Boosted fundraiser this month!
This month why not celebrate NZ Volunteering Week by supporting our lovely volunteers to bring Shared Reading to our communities! Our Boosted campaign is running throughout July so please share the link on your social media & emails!
We run weekly shared reading groups to bring people together for meaningful connection with each other and literature. People come to our groups for different reasons- some just enjoy exploring literature but many also come to improve their wellbeing.
Even if we are surrounded by people, sometimes we can feel lonely and isolated if we don’t have opportunities to talk about the “real” stuff! Reading great literature- connecting with it and relating to it makes us feel less alone. Loneliness and isolation are as bad for our health as smoking- Shared Reading can help!
“Although it takes me two buses to come to the city library I don’t mind doing that since I like having intelligent conversation and the readings spark up my imagination.” participant 2020
“Poetry opens up a hidden part of me when I read all these jingly jangly words.” – participant 2020
In our shared groups we build a collective interpretation of each story and poem unique to that session. We can figure out a lot more reading together than reading alone.
Our groups are inclusive and we read aloud to break barriers to reading such as inexperience or vision impairments. We also work around perceived barriers (like “I don’t get poetry”… or ‘I could never read something like that”…) using a warm welcoming facilitation style and celebrating all contributions to discussion as a gift.
“I didn’t know you could read for fun, but I really enjoy it!” – Hospice Reading group participant.
Research shows that Shared Reading improves wellness and happiness:
94% of people say “I look forward to the group as an important event in my week.”
91% say “The reading sessions make me feel better.”
84% say “I’ve made new friends within the group.”
“I loved hearing how strongly connected some of the group members felt to the story and poem.” participant 2020
Diversity is a strong focus for us. This has naturally evolved as our volunteer base is very diverse and they are passionate about providing opportunities for group members to learn about one another. Our community loves exploring literature from many cultures. We have read stories and poems set in Cairo, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Iran, Hawaii, Tokyo, New York and many other places.
Our volunteers have connected with and offered taster groups to many diverse communities such as Mandarin speakers, the rainbow community, people with anxiety, older people, people with physical impairments, people in prison, people in hospice and people who are new to Auckland/ NZ.
“I wouldn’t have survived this year (moving to NZ) without this group!” participant 2020