Beanstalk's first school in Gloucestershire welcomes its new reading helpers 12 March 2018 Widden Primary is the very first school in Gloucestershire to start working with Beanstalk and has warmly welcomed its two reading helpers, Sallie and Lynn. Both volunteers have been trained by Beanstalk and will now start supporting three children, two times a week for 30 minutes, during one academic year. Debbie Innes is Deputy Head at Widden Primary School: “It is really exciting to be the first school in Gloucestershire to be working with Beanstalk and to welcome our first trained reading helpers who are so enthused about helping our children with their reading! At Widden Primary School we believe in the importance of encouraging a love of reading among our pupils and we want to ensure that all children have opportunities to read books and to find it an enjoyable learning experience. We pride ourselves in doing the best for all our children providing individual support wherever we can. The Beanstalk volunteers will provide that for particular children helping them to explore the joys of reading as well as gaining 'stamps' towards our 'Red Bus Club'.” Sallie John, one of the first Gloucestershire-based reading helpers, said: “My mother and uncle were both former Widden School pupils, so for me to now be volunteering at the school is a particularly special experience to be involved with.” Beanstalk recently launched in Gloucestershire having been working successfully across schools in the South West of England for two years and nationally for over 40 years. Amelia Shaw is Area Manager for Beanstalk in the South West: “In 2016 we made the move into the South West and we’re thrilled that we have now begun supporting children for the first time in Gloucestershire. We are currently welcoming and encouraging enquiries from more schools in the area who would like to find out how Beanstalk can support children with reading and of course we are also looking to hear from any potential volunteers who would like to inspire children in their local areas to read!” To find out more about becoming a reading helper or a partner school in Gloucestershire, please contact Beanstalk.