Reading volunteers needed to help in schools

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 September 2019

Reading volunteers are trained to help children develop their confidence and skills.

Reading volunteers are trained to help children develop their confidence and skills.

Archant

A charity is appealing for volunteers to read with children in Weston's schools.

Coram Beanstalk is looking for reading helpers who can go into lessons to help pupils to improve their skills and confidence.

Last year, 26 per cent of primary school leavers in North Somerset did not achieve the expected levels in reading.

The charity needs volunteers who will be trained to support children aged three to 13 through one-to-one weekly sessions.

Ginny Lunn, managing director of Coram Beanstalk, said: "Volunteers help encourage, motivate and support children in a way that helps them feel positive about their reading and sets them up for success.

"Our reading helpers work with children who, for a variety of reasons, don't feel confident around books and would benefit from weekly sessions outside of the classroom with someone who can help 'open the door' to reading.

"Our vision is to ensure all children have the opportunity to become confident and able readers and we know the first step to achieving this is through encouraging a love of books at an early age."

Coram Beanstalk's reading volunteers help children to learn to read well - not just through recognising words, but through chatting about them and developing a deeper understanding of the context.

Adam Matthews, chief executive of the Extend Learning Academies Network which oversees eight primary schools in Weston, said: "I think the work it does is amazing.

"It's so important children get the opportunity to read and share their reading with others.

"Regardless of the current funding situation within education, any opportunity to enhance a child's reading should be embraced."

Coram Beanstalk supported 13,400 children last year, with the help of 3,700 reading volunteers through a range of programmes.

By March 2020, the charity's aim is to reach 15,000 children but it needs at least 300 more volunteers.

Find out more information about the programmes, or apply as a volunteer, at www.corambeanstalk.org.uk or on 02077 294087.

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