Volunteers to improve literacy rates in schools required

Books for Schools handover. Hannah More Infants and Grove Junior School, Nailsea.

Books for Schools handover. Hannah More Infants and Grove Junior School, Nailsea. - Credit: Archant

A literacy charity is appealing for volunteers to help children in North Somerset to develop vital reading skills.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign. - Credit: Archant

Beanstalk aids children’s life chances by recruiting and supporting volunteers to work in primary schools.

The helpers work with children who have fallen behind with reading, lack confidence or struggle with their fluency, comprehension or vocabulary.

Beanstalk is searching for people who can spare a few hours a week supporting pupils in primary schools.

Peter Shelton, from Beanstalk, said: “Life is better when everyone can read well and express themselves confidently.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign. - Credit: Archant


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“However, low levels of literacy continue to be a persistent problem both nationally and locally.”

Evidence shows children achieve better at school across all subjects if they can read well.

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Reading for pleasure also improves health and wellbeing, helps children to develop empathy and inspires creativity.

Beanstalk reading helpers work with three pupils and spend 30 minutes with each child twice a week.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign.

Usborne has teamed up with the North Somerset Times to support our Books For Schools campaign. - Credit: Archant

Mr Shelton added: “Very importantly, Beanstalk sessions are meant to be relaxed, informal and fun.

“By having this one-to-one time with each child the reading helper can help to develop the child’s reading skills and wider language acquisition in a fun and engaging way.

“Reading helpers are able to tailor resources to the individual interests to ensure it’s relevant to the child.”

Beanstalk has opportunities for volunteers to get involved as part of its Story Starters programme, which introduces children, aged three to five, to books and helps them to develop language skills before starting school.

All volunteers receive training and support.

Beanstalk is supporting the Times’ Books For Schools campaign to provide free books to primary schools.

Books and gift vouchers can be dropped into the Times office in Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, to Clevedon Community Bookshop, in Copse Road, or Portishead Town Council office in Folk Hall, High Street.

To apply find out more about becoming a Beanstalk volunteer, visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk or call Beanstalk on 08454 500301.

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