Get Suffolk Reading

Get Suffolk Reading

Volunteers needed to help bring the magic of reading to children in Suffolk

Volunteers are being called upon to help transform child illiteracy in Suffolk by becoming reading helpers in local primary schools and early years settings. Members of the local community are being asked to get in touch with national literacy charity Beanstalk as it begins to roll out two new literacy initiatives in the region.

The first initiative is part of the ‘Get Suffolk Reading’ campaign which was launched by Beanstalk over the Summer and delivers Beanstalk’s 321 reading programme. This involves volunteers supporting three primary school aged children (aged 5-11), two times a week for 30 minutes in a local primary school for one academic year. One-to-one sessions enable the reading helper to tailor each session to the child’s specific needs and to pass on the magic of stories and books.

The charity is also calling for volunteers for its new early years programme Story Starters which will help local children aged 3-5 to develop their language skills and become ready to read. Story Starters is a new collaborative project between children’s literacy charity Beanstalk, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and LuCid (University of Liverpool) which aims to give children the support they need to develop their language and reading skills. Research has shown that children who benefit from high-quality support in their early years start school on average three months ahead in their literacy and language skills, compared with children who don’t.

Story Starter volunteers will visit children twice a week and support three children for 20 minutes each. The sessions are fun, interactive and hugely beneficial to the children receiving extra support. The child and volunteer will have access to a box full of books, as well as an additional book every month delivered directly to the trained reading helper and child.

“These initiatives are so exciting because there is an opportunity here to make a big difference to so many children that struggle with reading,” explains Jo Holmes, Area Manager for Beanstalk. “We are currently preparing to train and place our first volunteers which is really exciting but we do need more volunteers to come forward. It really is such a fantastic opportunity to make a meaningful difference to the lives of children who need a little bit of extra, regular support each week to build their confidence, so please get in touch!”

Become a reading helper as part of ‘Get Suffolk Reading’

If you would like to become a trained reading helper or for more information, please

Become a Story Starter volunteer

If you would to become a Story Starter, please

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