Adam, Jordan and Ana’s Story

6th February 2023

Doorstep Library started visiting this family -Adam (9), Jordan (12) and Ana (3) – nearly five years ago before Ana was even born and when Adam was just learning to read. The children know our volunteers well and they are very much part of the family’s routine.

After the first lockdown, the family eagerly resumed book swaps on the doorstep in September 2020. In February 2021, our volunteers were able to start online reading sessions with them, via our new Online Reading Corner, with the same volunteers who visited with them pre-pandemic. We work hard to ensure that children see the same volunteers each week as this helps to develop a strong relationship, enabling the children to develop their confidence and making the sessions much more fun.

At first, the online reading sessions involved just the two boys and the volunteers taking turns reading from the same eBook shared on the screen. The volunteers were careful to check the boys were okay with this new format as it differed from their previous home reading visits. However, the boys were delighted to be back sharing books.

Over the next couple of weeks, their little sister came into the reading sessions and wanted to join in with her brothers. The volunteers developed a routine of asking at the beginning whether they would all read a book for the little girl, or a book for the older boys. Often the boys chose to read with their sister, and she would pick the book.

On the last book swap visit of the summer term, the volunteers had a long and hilarious chat with the boys about the Euros football final the night before. One child talked about a reading volunteer he remembered from many years earlier when the family had first joined the Doorstep Library service.

His older brother talked about how his little sister was now enjoying reading with the volunteers the same way they had done. Their mother told us how much difference DoorstepLibrary had made to all their reading, and how having new books brought every visit to choose from, meant that the boys gobbled up several a week.

The oldest child has now graduated from our service as he has grown out of our book stock and has moved on to being a big anime fan. His mother hinted that her 9-year-old is also getting to the point where he might be moving on – but until then we will carry on taking a selection of favourite titles for him to borrow and read. In September we will, however, be back in person to resume reading with their younger sister. Just like we did with her older brothers over the years.