Schoolreaders is a national children’s literacy charity that provides volunteers to primary schools to support children who need help catching up on their reading.
The charity matches volunteers to schools who listen to children read.
Many children have been extremely disadvantaged following the disruption caused by the Covid pandemic and are struggling to catch up.
Currently, 200,000 children leave primary school every year unable to read to the required standard and, while the Government has pledged to reduce this figure by 2030, many children need additional classroom reading support right away.
Schoolreaders volunteers are asked to listen to children read a minimum of once a week in term time and to commit to an academic year.
New volunteers will be matched as quickly as possible to a partner school and will be ready to start once they have completed a mandatory DBS check and virtual safeguarding training.
Jane Whitbread, founder of Schoolreaders, said: “Reading, particularly for the youngest children, has been set back enormously by the pandemic and if we don’t rally round now, we risk thousands of children falling behind.
“Children who leave primary school unable to read well can’t access their secondary schooling fully which is likely to negatively affect their life chances.
“Poor reading skills hinders such simple things as reading instructions, understanding a medicine label or accessing information over the internet which so many of us take for granted.
“Additionally, children benefit enormously from positive role models in the classroom. There is just no substitute for reading aloud to a trusted adult, discussing words or a story and building a rapport.
“Being one of our volunteers is a very positive thing to do and a way individuals can do their bit to help children in their communities, providing a crucial supplement to classroom teaching.
“Literacy opens doors, helps learning and brings new opportunities.”
To find out more or to apply to be a Schoolreaders volunteer, visit Schoolreaders.org