Community News

Search for more reading volunteers for ‘every child who needs one’

The search is on for more volunteers to help hundreds of primary school pupils with their reading as a new scheme is launched this month.

The appeal is being run by Bristol’s Reading in Schools Consortium – a partnership organised by the city council which brings together different organisations to recruit volunteers to read in schools.

Last term over 250 people from all across the city volunteered in 50 schools, but now sights are being set even higher.

Bristol’s Mayor Marvin Rees wants to make sure there’s a reading volunteer for ‘every child who needs one’  – with 300 additional helpers needed.

He said: “If a child can’t read well when they leave primary school it can have a big impact on that individual’s life, so this reading programme is about giving pupils an extra boost.

“This approach has been proven to work and is going from strength to strength so I hope that with the help of local people we’ll soon reach our target of having a volunteer for every child in need of a little extra support…

“Building on the strong foundations of the Reading Recovery Programme and Open the Door for Reading, we aim to create a city where every child’s a reader.”

Sandra Morris from Knowle volunteers at Filwood’s School of Christ the King once a week in her lunch hour to help pupils with their reading.

She says: “It’s very rewarding seeing how the children progress from week to week. I decided to do it because I wanted to put something back into the community – and reading is the basis of everything…”

Support is targeted at schools most in need or without easy access to volunteers. The volunteers are recruited and trained to deliver ten sessions of reading support, working with two five to seven-year-olds each week.

Evidence shows that children tend to make around six month’s improvement within the ten-week period.

Training sessions will be held on Thursday 6 September and 25 October and Wednesday 28 November – and will also take place throughout next year.

They will cover everything from helping children read for enjoyment to assessing a child’s progress.

For more information and to register interest visit: https://candobristol.co.uk/projects/reading_in_schools or send an email to volunteer@bristol.gov.uk