Schoolreaders charity celebrates 10th anniversary and calls for new volunteers

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Schoolreaders supports literacy in primary school children by providing one to one reading help. Image: Schoolreaders

As Schoolreaders celebrates its 10th anniversary, the charity is looking to increase its number of volunteers who are passionate about helping children discover their love for books.

Schoolreaders is a national charity that aims to improve children’s literacy by recruiting, placing and supporting volunteers who go to local primary schools and provide free, one-on-one reading support for children.

Volunteers are matched with a primary school in their area and no qualifications are necessary, just a good level of English. All volunteers will undertake a mandatory enhanced DBS check and safeguarding training.

Throughout the past decade, Schoolreaders’ volunteers have provided over two million one-to-one reading sessions to over 80,000 children. 

This has increased many children’s future life chances and by prioritizing those most disadvantaged, they have given many children unlimited access to necessary language skills and socializing abilities. 

Statistics reveal that one in four children leave primary school without reaching the expected reading standard, which means they cannot fully access their secondary education and ultimately affects their future opportunities. 

There is an urgent need for more volunteers in order to make a difference in these children’s lives.

The impact of Schoolreaders’ commitment is measurable: 81% of children supported by the volunteers showed improvement in their reading fluency, 91% displayed a boost in reading confidence, and 84% were found to take greater enjoyment in reading.

As a volunteer, you could serve as mentors and role models within the school and general community by committing to a minimum of one hour a week for a year during term time listening to children read in your local primary school. 

Juliet, a Headteacher at a Schoolreader partner school said: “Schoolreader volunteers offer the children quality time with reading… but they are more than just a volunteer. 

“They are someone the children have a relationship with… the children can enjoy the experience of reading in a really positive way and can share thoughts and ideas.”

Peter, a volunteer and Schoolreaders ambassador, shared his experience in school: “I, like many other Schoolreaders volunteers, could share a great many heart-warming stories. 

“From the boy who for over a year had really struggled, then one day was comprehending sentences and asking questions about the book, to the girl who not only reads the stories, but gives each character a different voice.

“I always return home from school with a spring in my step.”

To learn more about Schoolreaders and how you can get involved, visit schoolreaders.org.