1 January 2020

Coram Beanstalk is looking to hear from potential volunteers from across England who would be interested in becoming trained reading helpers in 2020. Their help will make a huge difference to children aged 3-13 who need extra support with their reading on a regular basis.

Sharing books with an adult regularly on a one-to-one basis can help raise children’s self-esteem, increase confidence and boost their reading enjoyment.

Schools that Coram Beanstalk works with have reported that the time spent together between the child and the reading helper also improves aspects of their wellbeing. According to the schools, 97% said the volunteers helped children to develop a positive attitude towards books and reading, 98% said reading helpers helped children to increase their confidence, while 95% said they helped to increase self-confidence and self-esteem. In terms of reading ability, 85% of schools said reading helpers helped children to accelerate in their reading progress.

Ginny Lunn, Managing Director of Coram Beanstalk said: We know that fostering a love of reading can have a direct impact on educational outcomes and so the key to do this is to create a really positive reading experience for children – that’s what our reading helpers are trained to provide and where they can really make a difference outside of the classroom. Often the children our volunteers work with just need that bit of extra support and encouragement on a regular one-to-one basis that is just not always possible in lesson time. After a year’s support the child’s confidence towards reading and their love of books is often transformed.

We would love hear from anyone who feels they could help pass on a love of reading and has the time to volunteer in the New Year at a school on a twice-weekly basis. The difference you can make is beyond just helping a child to read, it can help boost their self-esteem and transform their future prospects.

Coram Beanstalk has been working with schools across England for over 45 years to recruit and place volunteers in settings supporting children on a one-to-one basis with their reading. We will train and match volunteers to pre-schools or schools where they will support children aged 3-11 through weekly sessions and over one academic year, sharing books together, chatting about them and developing deeper understanding of the story.

All volunteers receive training and ongoing support, as well as the opportunity to attend workshops and events to meet with fellow reading helpers. Applicants will require a DBS check which the charity helps coordinate.

Apply to become a reading helper