Jun 22, 2005

'Time to Read' Seagate Volunteers Graduate

Five Seagate employees have recently completed three years as volunteers on an innovative paired-reading programme that aims to encourage and inspire children to develop an appreciation of books and reading.

The programme, Time to Read, is a volunteering initiative developed and managed by Business in the Community that enables volunteers from the world of business to spend an hour a week with primary school children to assist them with their reading. Through interaction with the adult volunteers, the children develop better communication skills and grow in self-confidence.

Over the last three years, the five Seagate volunteers have befriended and inspired a total of ten children from Lisnagelvin, Longtower and Ebrington primary schools. Now those pupils are set to move on to secondary level education, having benefited from the regular contact with their adult volunteer. The employees who are 'graduating' from the scheme this year are Sharon McCann and Ryan Thompson, who volunteered their services at Lisnagelvin; Siobhan Lincoln and Angela McCallion, who took part in the scheme at Ebrington; and June Coates, who read with children at Longtower Primary School.

"It's been very rewarding to see the children's confidence levels and self-esteem grow over the past three years," said Siobhan Lincoln, an engineer at Seagate. "During that time, we've seen their choice of reading material really broaden and diversify. Meeting on such a regular basis has definitely helped develop the children's communication skills. Participating in this programme has been a very worthwhile experience."

Nigel Dougherty, principal of Ebrington Primary School said: "We're very grateful to the volunteers from Seagate who have participated in the Time to Read programme over the last three years. Having them here has allowed us to offer the luxury of paired-reading-something which teachers can seldom find time to do. The mentors have really opened up the world of books to the participating children."

Joyce Rainey, education executive for Business in the Community, said "Seagate has been a valued participant in our Time to Read programme for several years. The commitment demonstrated by the volunteers is admirable and an inspiration for other companies in the area. Each volunteer has made a real difference to the children with whom they were paired. I would encourage other companies to learn from Seagate's example and get involved in Time to Read to help develop the next generation's interest in reading".

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, and Consumer Electronics applications. Seagate's business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world's growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at www.seagate.com.

Seagate has two facilities in Northern Ireland, employing over 1,800 people between them. At the Springtown wafer fabrication facility, the Company develops and manufactures the recording heads, which write information onto and read information from the recording disc inside a computer's hard drive. The Company's Limavady facility produces nickel-plated aluminium substrates, the core material on which computer hard disc drives read, write and store digital information.

Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are U.S. registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.