Program aims to bridge literacy gap for kids

Chris Tanner is the founder of Exodus Tutorial Centre Gladstone.
Chris Tanner is the founder of Exodus Tutorial Centre Gladstone. Brenda Strong

A CHILD'S ability to read and write has great impact on their life.

And when literacy skills are not established at an early age, the flow-on effect can continue throughout schooling, and leave them behind other students.

Chris Tanner is the founder of Exodus Tutorial Centre Gladstone, a community partnership with Education Queensland.

The program aims to "bridge the literacy gap" for children reading two or more years below their chronological age.

Established in 1998, Mr Tanner has witnessed first-hand the program's effectiveness.

"These children have never had any success, and life's been hard for them," he said.

He said initially children were a little wary of the program, unsure of what they were in for.

"But they go back to school with a completely different approach to learning," Mr Tanner said.

He said the program was generating school captains and children who took part in learning with enthusiasm.

Today the ability to read and write was essential.

He said a general rule of having more boys than girls in each intake had been maintained.

"There have only ever been two intakes where we had more girls than boys," he said.

"I think girls are generally smarter than boys."

Mr Tanner said if a child was struggling, the best thing a parent could do was read to the child for at least 15 minutes a day.

"It makes a real difference," he said.

Usually children who had been read to had good reading skills themselves.

For more information visit or talk to your school principal.

Topics:  children education literacy reading

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