Visionary leadership part of celebration

POWER OF LITERACY: Boost programme co-ordinator Helen Breech (left) celebrates the initiative’s 10 years with Ashburton Learning Centre manager Mary Philip, Advance Ashburton 2013 trustee Elizabeth Ashford, Advance Ashburton executive officer Carolyn Clough and donor Merle Cooney.
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Visionary leadership and generous contributions have been the driving force behind the development and growth of Boost Literacy Initiative, says the initiative’s programme coordinator.

Helen Breech was speaking to tutors and special guests gathered at Brantwood at Trott’s Garden for an end of year luncheon celebration.

It was also the 10th anniversary of the initiative, which has literacy tutors working with students in Mid Canterbury schools.

‘‘(This) belief in the power of literacy as a catalyst for change has transformed lives and laid the foundation for a brighter future in our community,’’ Breech said.

Among the guests were Advance Ashburton 2013 trustees, donors, tutors, and Ashburton Learning Centre manager Mary Philip.

The gathering not only marked a decade of dedication, but was to show gratitude to those whose unwavering support had been the backbone of the initiative’s success, Breech said.

It started in 2013 with three trial schools and a small student group.

It has since expanded to include 19 Mid Canterbury schools, supporting about 200 primary-aged students each year who need extra literacy tuition to help them succeed.

The growth highlights the programme’s increasing impact and reach within the community, Breech said.

She extended a ‘‘heartfelt appreciation’’ to Advance Ashburton and Mackenzie Charitable Foundation trustees, donors and executive officers of 2013 through to now.

BOOST UP: Methven Primary School Boost tutors (from left) Lynn Murray, Sheryl Mabey and Wendy Crews were among those celebrating 10 years of Boost Literacy during an end of year celebration at Brantwood at Trott’s Garden.

Special mention was given to Advance Ashburton 2013 trustees Mary Ross, Trevor Croy, Gary Fail, Angus McKay, Anne Fleming, Kevin Geddes, Phil McKendry and thenexecutive officer Margaret Rickard. Donors Merle Cooney, Jeanette Sinclair, Nikki Crosbie, Bob and Alan Johnson, Nic Baxter (Lismore Community Fund), and Graham and Lorna Robertson.

As well as former Boost coordinator Judith Sommerville, Angela Muckle and Linda Bullock.

Volunteer tutors Cath Gill and Charles Jaine were also acknowledged for their service since the start of the programme.

The success of the programme was a credit to the dedication and expertise of the many Boost volunteer tutors, Breech said.

‘‘(Their) commitment to improving literacy has had a profound impact on many children that have benefited from the initiative.

‘‘It is your selflessness and dedication that truly make Boost a beacon of hope and opportunity.’’