Sowing the seeds to grow great readers
A READING charity in London is urgently calling for volunteers in West London to help primary school children become more confident readers.
Beanstalk recruits, trains and supports volunteers to work in local primary schools with children who have either fallen behind with their reading, lack confidence, or struggle with their fluency, comprehension or vocabulary.
However, the charity urgently needs volunteers from the West London area who can support children for three hours a week in primary schools in Hammersmith, Fulham, White City and North Kensington.
This year, over 400 primary school leavers in these areas of West London did not meet the expected standards of reading.
Beanstalk wants to ensure it can support more children that fall behind with reading, helping boost their enjoyment of books and overall confidence.
Lindsay Fox, Beanstalk area manager in London, said: “Reading is such a fundamental skill which helps children discover the world around them, but some children do struggle and they don’t always have access to books at home or an adult to read with on a regular basis.
“That is where Beanstalk reading helpers can really make a difference. Last year our reading programmes helped over 3,500 children across wider London.
“Our reading helpers are critical to delivering this support and we have several reading helper vacancies in West London which urgently need to be filled this side of Christmas, so they can be trained and placed in a school ready for January.
“Each volunteer will support three children for 30 minutes, twice a week, for one year. It really is such a fulfilling and meaningful volunteering role which transforms lives, so please get in touch today if you think you can help.”
Sally is from Chiswick and is in her eleventh year of volunteering with Beanstalk:
“When children can’t read well, they don’t read for fun and they can’t access a great deal of the school curriculum. I work with year four children and by that stage they really do need to be able to work independently, to write fluently and to read widely for pleasure and information. If they can do that, they enjoy school and learning. If they can’t, they are discouraged and fall behind their peers.
“In a good school, a reading helper is part of a team – the class teacher, teaching assistants and the special educational needs coordinator (SENCO), as well as the child’s own parents who are often really grateful for the special attention being given to their child.
“Being able to offer a different insight into the child’s ability and attitude to reading is helpful all round and I have a good relationship with the class teacher and SENCO.
“The children enjoy having an adult who gives them undivided attention for half an hour twice a week, and they like having time to talk about what they are reading and ask for help if they don’t understand something.
“In my school, having a Beanstalk reading helper is seen as a real privilege and the other children in a class often ask me if they can come out too. So the children feel special, which is good for their confidence.
“This year my three boys are quite competitive with each other and are always looking to see what the others are reading, which is another incentive for them.”
If you can help by becoming a Beanstalk reading helper in West London, please visit the website at www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk where you can complete an online form or call Beanstalk on 0845 450 0307.
Beanstalk volunteers help children practise their reading