Jun 21, 2004

Graduation Time for Seagate Volunteers

SPRINGTOWN, Northern Ireland - Six 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 six Seagate volunteers have befriended and inspired a total of 21 children from Steelstown, 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.

"It's been very rewarding to see the children's reading, communications skills and self-esteem develop over the three years," said Jacqueline McLaughlin, a production operator at Seagate. "The weekly one-to-one sessions with each child helped us get to know the children and develop a relationship of trust. It was fantastic to not only read with the children but also to discuss stories and share ideas and opinions with them."

Phyllis McLaughlin, Principal of Longtower Primary School said: "Seagate's employee volunteers and the Time To Read programme have been a very welcome additional resource over the last three years. Paired-reading is a luxury that teachers can seldom afford, but this initiative has provided us with reading mentors who have really opened up the world of books to the participating children."

Ryan Williams, North West Regional Director for Business in the Community, said "Seagate has led the way in terms of engagement in the Time to Read programme within the North West and as always, has been an inspiration for other companies in the area. We are delighted that the volunteers have engaged so wholeheartedly in the programme and have really made a 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 or one of Business in the Community's other education programmes".

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:

Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide range of Enterprise, PC, Notebook and Consumer Electronics applications. The company is committed to delivering 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 and Seagate Technology are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC.