Appeal for volunteers to help struggling readers in schools

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 September 2018

Beanstalk reading volunteers provide pupils with one-to-one support.

Beanstalk reading volunteers provide pupils with one-to-one support.


A reading charity is appealing for volunteers to listen to children read in schools across North Somerset.

Beanstalk reading volunteers provide pupils with one-to-one support.Beanstalk reading volunteers provide pupils with one-to-one support.

Beanstalk is launching its Back to School volunteer appeal to enable the charity to help more struggling readers.

This year, the charity is hoping to support more than 370 children aged three to 13 across the region who are at risk of falling behind at school without intervention.

To do this, Beanstalk needs volunteers to join its network of trained reading helpers to deliver the one-to-one support in primary schools and early years settings through its life-changing reading support programmes.

According to the latest statistics, 25 per cent of primary school children across England left school not meeting the expected levels in reading last year.

Amelia Shaw, area manager for Beanstalk, said: “The start of the new academic year is always a critical time for us to ensure that we have enough trained volunteers ready to deliver our key programmes across the region.

“However, this academic year we have more programmes to deliver in more settings than ever before, which means we urgently need to increase the number of volunteers we have so we can reach more children that need this vital support.”

Evidence shows poor reading skills can have a devastating effect on children’s futures.

Beanstalk works to close the gap between struggling readers and their peers by providing trained volunteers who support children on a one-to-one basis.

An increasing number of schools are requesting help, which means more volunteers are urgently needed.

Amelia added: “It’s a shocking fact too many children are starting school without essential speaking and language skills which leads to an increasingly uphill struggle when learning to read.

“Regular and consistent reading support is unfortunately not always possible in the home environment for a variety of reasons, which is where Beanstalk volunteers come in.

“We now have a big challenge ahead to reach over 370 children through our volunteer network by the end of the academic year.”

For more information, or to apply to become a volunteer, visit or call Beanstalk on 08454 500301.

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