Volunteers needed to listen to children read in Oldham schools

Date published: 20 May 2024

As Schoolreaders celebrates its tenth year, the charity is on the lookout for volunteers who are passionate about nurturing a love for reading among children in primary schools across Greater Manchester, and specifically in Oldham.

Schoolreaders is a national charity which helps to improve children’s literacy by providing volunteers to listen to children read in primary schools on a one-to-one basis.

Schoolreaders' mission is provide every child with the opportunity to learn to read well and in so doing, increase their future life-chances.

Over the past decade, Schoolreaders volunteers have provided more than two million one-to-one reading sessions, to over 80,000 children.

The support Schoolreaders offers has never been more needed, as statistics reveal that one in four children leave primary school without reaching the expected reading standard, which means they cannot fully access their secondary education, which will limit their future opportunities.

There is therefore an urgent need for more volunteers to make a difference.

Schoolreaders volunteers commit to spending a minimum of one hour per week for a year during term time listening to children read in primary school.

The impact of this commitment is measurable: 81% of children supported by our volunteers showed improvement in their reading fluency, 91% displayed a boost in reading confidence, and 84% were found to take greater enjoyment in reading.

Dedicated volunteers also serve as mentors and role models within the school community.

Juliet, a Headteacher at a Schoolreader partner school, said: “Schoolreader volunteers offer the children quality time with reading… they are more than just a volunteer and have a unique role.

"They are someone the children have a relationship with, perhaps from a different generation.

"They are another adult, not their teacher, not their parent/carer, who children can enjoy the experience of reading with in a really positive way and can share thoughts and ideas.”

Peter, a volunteer and Schoolreaders Ambassador, shared his experience in school, adding: “I, like many other Schoolreaders volunteers, could share a great many heart-warming stories.

"From the boy who for over a year had really struggled, then one day was comprehending sentences and asking questions about the book, to the girl who not only reads the stories, but gives each character a different voice.

"I always return home from school with a spring in my step!”

To learn more about Schoolreaders and how you can get involved, please visit: www.schoolreaders.org

Apply now to become a volunteer and help to change a child’s life-story.

Volunteers will be matched with a primary school in their area.

No qualifications are necessary, just a good level of English.

All volunteers will undertake a mandatory enhanced DBS check and safeguarding training.

Join Schoolreaders in spreading the joy of reading and building brighter futures for the children of Oldham.

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