If you would like to help give children a better chance to get on and stay on the path to becoming a confident, independent reader – with the life-long benefits this brings - this sometimes challenging but very rewarding volunteer role could be for you.

In a nutshell, we will train and support you to build a positive learning relationship with children, to “chat” about books in a purposeful and effective way, to recognise and avoid some of the counter-productive ideas we’ve all inherited about ‘how you help children with reading’, to read effectively to and with children of all ages, as well as how best to support them as they read to you, and to ‘think outside the book’ to get and keep children engaged in and increasingly enthusiastic about books and reading.

You do not need any professional qualifications or experience of working with children, or an in-depth knowledge of children’s literature… although it’s fine if you do!

We need you to:

  • Be willing to follow the proven Coram Beanstalk model
  • Have a genuine enthusiasm for sharing the value and joy of reading
  • Be comfortable relating to, motivating and encouraging children from a diverse range of backgrounds
  • Be confident you can adapt to and operate independently in a busy, modern school environment
  • Be blessed with patience, flexibility, creativity, energy and a sense of humour!

How it works:

  • You'll provide a high level of informal one-to-one adult support regularly for at least an hour for at least 10 weeks
  • To children aged 3-5 for c. 20 minutes each (Story Starters) or 5-11 for c. 30 minutes each (Reading Helpers)
  • On the days and at the times (within the school day) as agreed with the school (i.e. to fit in with teaching timetable)
  • By attending a local school or nursery – usually within 5 miles of your home or work - in person (adhering to Covid-guidance)

Our role description can be found here

Apply to volunteer now