Charlie & Chloe’s Story

7th January 2021

Vickie knew the importance of being able to read well and she wanted her kids to be good readers. Yet reading wasn’t an activity she enjoyed or shared with Charlie (5 years) and Chloe (18 months). “I never had much confidence in my reading skills, and certainly didn’t like having to read when I was young. When I think back on it, bad memories resurface. As a result, my reading was so bad; I actually felt embarrassed to read out loud to Charlie, and I figured Chloe was too young to get anything out of it anyway.”

“I was so grateful when my neighbour referred me to Doorstep Library and the volunteers started to come. It got me off the hook with the kids but had a side effect I never would have expected!”

Monique and Ric, Home Reading Volunteers with Doorstep Library, noticed immediately that Vickie valued reading and was eager to get Charlie reading aloud to the volunteers. As Monique recalls, “Vickie welcomed us with enthusiasm and was so keen to get Charlie reading to us. But she was a bit too eager and the pressure on Charlie backfired a little. At our second session he hid behind the sofa when we arrived.”

Ric continues, “Doorstep Library is all about embracing the joy of reading, and the opposite of that was happening. On our third visit, Monique and I announced that we were going to do all the reading. The only thing Charlie had to do was sit back, relax and listen. We brought the fun back into books and the whole family responded. Charlie loved being able to pick out books for us to read to him – he felt calm and in control of the reading sessions. And Chloe was soon hooked on books as well and adored our story time together. The best moment was the day Charlie asked if he could read to us, which he did with great excitement.”

The biggest change was with Vickie however. “It was amazing how the kids responded to the reading sessions. I never thought reading could be so much fun – I always regarded it as work, where reading out loud had to be word-perfect. But it’s about stories and time together and sharing an adventure or giggle.”

Now when Monique and Ric visit for their weekly reading sessions, Vickie joins in and helps pick out the books to borrow for the week. Most importantly, she reads to Charlie and Chloe at least three times a week and doesn’t insist on them reading aloud perfectly. “We all love the time together. Charlie no longer hides behind the sofa. As soon as I get the books out, he’s sat on the sofa ready!”