Help pupils to read

Schoolreaders help primary pupils to improve their reading

A group that helps children to read is asking for volunteers to aid their work.

Schoolreaders is a non-profit organisation that provides and matches volunteers from the community to listen to children read on a one-to-one basis in a local primary school. The service is free to schools and there is a great need for more volunteers in Buckinghamshire.

The scheme is flexible to fit in with a volunteer’s availability and location, although Schoolreaders requests a minimum of a year’s commitment. No qualifications are necessary – just a good command of spoken and written English. Volunteers get enormous pleasure and fulfilment in seeing the difference that their time makes in helping children with their reading and thereby increasing a child’s life opportunities.

Having launched in Bedfordshire in 2013 in just 12 primary schools, Schoolreaders currently organises around 4,500 weekly reading sessions with a child each week in over 230 schools across the country.

Jane Whitbread, Founder and Trustee of Schoolreaders, said: ‘Approximately a quarter of children are leaving primary school unable to read to the expected standard.  Children leaving primary school with a compromised reading ability can face potential disadvantage at secondary school as they may not to be able to access the curriculum and as a result can have restricted opportunities in life. One of the reasons that many children are not learning to read as well as they could by this age is that there is insufficient opportunity to read to an adult on a one-to-one basis.

‘Schoolreaders is passionate about helping give children the best start in life and we recognise that reading is key to a child’s development and life chances. By providing reading support early in a child’s development, we are aiming to address the wider social and economic inequalities to which low levels of literacy can contribute.

‘We hope to encourage people living in Buckinghamshire, who might be able to spare an hour or two a week, to sign up with Schoolreaders and assist children at a local primary school. Our volunteers tell us that they are tremendously rewarded by going into their local schools, knowing that a few hours helping a child learn to read each week can have such a great impact on their life outcome.’

How to help: If you are interested in becoming a Schoolreader volunteer or are a school wishing to register, this can be done via the website or for more information, contact  01234 924111 /

February 9, 2018