Over the past three years Pontypridd RFC has been proud to support the “Only Boys Allowed” Rhondda schools reading initiative. The scheme has now been deprived of its core funding and requires a huge voluntary effort to maintain its momentum.
Typical of the severe spending cuts that are currently being implemented, it is worthy schemes such as the Rhondda schools reading initiative, in a community already suffering deprivation and inequality, that are being hit the hardest.
Pontypridd RFC will continue to support the scheme in whatever way possible as it strives to continue its good work against all odds.
Scheme coordinator Rob Jones has sent us the following message:
World of Words
The “Only Boys Allowed” Reading Scheme has served 14 schools in Rhondda & Taff Ely area since 2009. The “Read a Million Words” initiative identified that young boys were falling behind the girls with their interest in the written word-so I have responded with an innovative idea to address any discrepancies.
The aim to develop the reading interest of boys aged 8 to 11 years has been met head on and the success stories are phenomenal. The boys have benefited from individual focus and the literature used in the sessions has been geared towards their interests-whether it is sport, animals, cars, dinosaurs, bikes, history or fiction.
The lads have been rewarded with prizes that I have strived to obtain for them–and, these have included: Free tickets to watch soccer, rugby, wrestling and basketball, theme park passes, play scheme entry, book tokens, theatre tickets, footballs/rugby balls, key rings, pens/pencils, memory sticks, bags of books and a host of other goodies! I have also ensured that many schools have received free books from themoney that I has raised for the scheme. Year 4, 5 and 6 lads have been included and over 1000 boys have participated in this imperative project.
There has also been the start of “Only Girls Allowed” and that has also been a hit.
However, core money that was used to run the project has been diverted elsewhere and I am left with the job of raising cash to maintain the momentum as well as put in a 60/70 hour week dealing with other issues in relation to the daily affairs of the reading programme. I have been an office of one, but the passion, commitment and dedication I have put in to the schedule has been life consuming. However, I know that all of this effort has made a positive difference to so many young lives and that is what counts to me!
I have written over 30 stories with moral, ethical, educational and social bearings and also many fun poems - and I am not prepared to stop!
I am not conceited but I can continue to help so many kids with a background of broken homes and a lack of affluence in their lives. However, the fundraising is imperative to move things forward. If you can help please do so. I have only touched the surface of what has gone on and I have a file the size of the full Harry Potter collection - but onwards we must go - in the guise of the charitable concern World of Words (WOW). If you can help our aspirations please get on board. It is on places such as the Rhondda Valley in Wales where there is little money and even less hope that aid is needed. Please respond and thanks for your time.
c/o World of Words
Arthur Street,Williamstown,CF40 1NZ