Our latest partners in bringing about the Reading Revolution are the fabulous team at Communicare CMA. When our Judy Darragh met up with Communicare’s Sudha Bhana at a Volunteering Auckland event it was like the stars (and our mission statements) aligned. We are currently in a process of trialling shared reading groups at various Communicare friendship centres and have been wowed by the strength of community spirit we have encountered so far. There is usually a warming up period with new shared reading groups where the level of trust builds and the engagement with the material deepens and becomes richer.
However the strength of the relationships at Communicare friendship centres meant that we leapt right in at the deep end! At Communicare Royal Oak on our second session, with 5 new participants (in a group of 7) we were nattering away like we’d been meeting for years. Two vision impaired ladies were sharing about their fathers showing them lovely blue bird’s eggs as children. Another lady C. commented that she cannot physically hold books anymore and she really enjoyed the beautiful poetic language in the story we read- she said that you don’t get poetic language in the light magazines that she can manage. Another gentleman said he struggles with small print. There was discussion around the personal barriers experienced by group members wanting to read literature.
S. had initially wondered what the group was for as she could read herself, (she was encouraged by C. who said it’s a completely different experience being read to) S.laughed upon reflection when she realized she had been the most vocal participant in the session! She commented that she really enjoyed the expressiveness of the reading voice. Reading aloud brings the story to life in a way that can surprise many dedicated readers. Our conversation ranged from hedgehogs and birds nests to conscientious objectors! The tone equally varied over the session from a light banter to a strong emotional response. When Pat came in to collect everyone there was a shared laugh at the distance our discussion had traveled and S. said “Well have we covered all the topics?!” Not quite S. we’ve just begun, and in response to your other question; “Why aren’t we on your website?”…
Here’s more about Communicare in their own words:
CARING FRIENDSHIP CENTRES FOR THE OLDER AGE GROUP
Communicare are a not for profit multi-cultural association, which has 21 Friendship Centres throughout central, east, west and south Auckland.
Our 21 Friendship Centres, which are spread thoughout the area, are friendly and welcoming.
Communicare CMA has been helping people since 1959, with the aid of our volunteer helpers.
If you would like to have companionship, friendship and support in a caring atmosphere CALL US ON : (09) 631-5968
To actively improve the quality of life for the elderly, lonely and disabled by providing recreation, support and advocacy in Friendship Centres