This is how reading with children in Worksop schools can help the adults of tomorrow

A voluntary literacy charity is urgently looking for volunteers to provide one-to-one reading support to children in Worksop primary schools.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 8:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 8:20 pm

National literacy charity Schoolreaders is urgently looking for volunteers in two Worksop primary schools to help pupils catch up with their reading post-pandemic.

According to government figures, one in four children were leaving primary school without reaching the required standard for reading even before the pandemic, and that figure is estimated to have increased.

Research by The National Foundation for Education revealed that the pandemic has worsened inequalities in levels of literacy nationwide and affected the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged pupils.

Schoolreaders volunteer Mavis with a primary school pupil.

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This is especially worse among younger children, those eligible for the pupil premium and schools with higher levels of deprivation in the North and Midlands.

Schoolreaders support has been proven to help children’s reading fluency, comprehension and enjoyment, providing a crucial addition to classroom teaching.

A recent study by the University of Bedfordshire Institute for Research in Education showed 95 per cent of children improved their reading age by an additional one to six months after support from a Schoolreaders volunteer.

Volunteers are asked to listen to children read a minimum of once a week in term time for up to two hours at a time, and to commit to a minimum of an academic year.

Jane Whitbread, founder of Schoolreaders, said: “When I set up Schoolreaders eight years ago, I never anticipated the demand for our reading volunteers would increase so dramatically.

“Covid and its associated disruption to education has meant that we are needed more than ever.

“Children who leave primary school unable to read well cannot access their secondary schooling fully, which is likely to have life-long disadvantage.

“Poor reading skills can also affect life chances and hinder such simple things, such as reading instructions, understanding a medicine label or accessing information over the internet which so many of us take for granted.

“Adults can give back to their local community, it provides a regular purpose and makes such a difference to children’s lives. 98 per cent of our volunteers also reported a positive impact on their wellbeing through volunteering with us.”

To find out more and to apply to become a Schoolreaders volunteer, visit: https://www.schoolreaders.org/all-about-volunteering