Preston residents urged to volunteer as readers for primary school children

Posted on - 19th July, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Education, Preston News, Schools
Schoolreaders volunteer Freda

A children’s literacy charity is seeking volunteers to help children catch up on their reading after the disruption caused by the pandemic.


National charity Schoolreaders matches volunteers to schools to listen to children read and has hundreds of active volunteers in schools nationwide, but they require more.

One in four children leaves primary school unable to read the required standard 1. The government has pledged to reduce this by 2030, but many children need additional classroom reading support.

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Jane Whitbread, the founder of Schoolreaders, said: “Reading has been set back enormously by the pandemic, and if we don’t rally around 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 affect their life.

“Poor reading skills hinder simple things like 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 no substitute for reading aloud to a trusted adult, discussing words or a story and building a rapport.”

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Volunteers should listen to children read a minimum of once a week in term time and commit to an academic year.

By applying now, new volunteers will be matched as quickly as possible to a partner school and be ready to start next term (September 2022) once they have completed a mandatory DBS check and virtual safeguarding training.

Jane said: 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 children learn and brings new opportunities.”

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Would you consider volunteering? Let us know in the comments below.

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