17th February 2016

Beanstalk's CEO Ginny Lunn was today presented with The International Prize at the 2015 US Library of Congress Literacy Awards, at event in Washington DC. 

The Literacy Awards, first announced in January 2013, orginated and sponsored by philanthropist David M.Rubenstein, help support organisations working to alleviate the problems of illiteracy in the United States and worldwide. The International Prize is awarded to an organisation which has had a significant and measurable impact in increasing literacy skills outside of the United States.

Beanstalk transforms the ability, confidence and passion for reading amongst primary school children who have previously struggled with their reading or been reluctant to read.

Through one-to-one literacy support provided by Beanstalk trained reading helpers, a child’s reading ability is transformed, with 93% of children making progress with their reading attainment.

Ginny Lunn, Beanstalk’s CEO, said in response to the award:

“Recognition by the US Library of Congress for our work is a major honour for Beanstalk and is a testament to the hard-work, dedication, and enthusiasm of our trained reading helpers. It is thanks to them that we are able to transform the lives of children across the country and ensure that they have the skills, confidence and imagination to reach their true potential.”

The International Prize comes with a donation of $50,000, which will be used to fund Beanstalk trained reading helpers and ensure that more children are able to reach their true potential.

Beanstalk works across England and supports approximately 10,000 children through nearly 2,900 trained reading helper volunteers.

Each Beanstalk trained reading helper works with – on average – 3 children, seeing each child for two 30 minutes sessions a week, during term-time, for three terms. Together they read, play and talk. The Beanstalk sessions, which have no consequences for failure, mean that the approach to learning and enjoying reading is transformed.

If you would like to become a Beanstalk trained reading helper then call 020 7729 4087 or visit www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk

Notes to editors

  1. Beanstalk is a national literacy charity that recruits, vets, trains and supports volunteers to work in primary schools with children who have fallen behind with their reading. To find out how to volunteer, visit  www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk or call 020 7729 4087
  2. Beanstalk reading helpers work with children on a one-to-one basis, giving them their full attention and support to improve reading levels, increase overall confidence and inspire a lifelong love of reading.
  3. Each Beanstalk reading helper works with three children and sees each child for two 30 minute sessions a week, during term-time, for a whole year. Together, they read, play and talk. With Beanstalk's support the child's approach to learning and enjoying reading is often transformed.
  4. Beanstalk works in areas of deprivation across England through 17 branches in the North, Midlands, Greater London and Kent.
  5. Beanstalk was founded in 1973 as Volunteer Reading Help by Susan Belgrave MBE, Beanstalk’s President.