Reading volunteers wanted in schools

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

Reading volunteers are trained to help children develop their confidence and skills. - Credit: Archant

Schools are in need of more volunteers to read with children to improve their confidence and skills.

Coram Beanstalk is looking for reading helpers who can go into lessons to work with pupils one-to-one.

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

Evidence shows children who can read well do better at school and have access to more career opportunities in later life.

The charity needs volunteers who will be trained up 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.

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"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 North Somerset, 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 works with schools across North Somerset to deliver a range of evidence-based programmes which have been developed to ensure children who most need help get encouragement and support in the best way possible.

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