Become A Beanstalk Reading Hero

Could you help transform the prospects for a child through the power of books and stories?

Local literacy charity Beanstalk has launched a new campaign for 2018 to highlight the extraordinary difference members of the community in Suffolk can make by volunteering in primary schools to support children who struggle with reading. The work Beanstalk’s ‘reading heroes’ carry out will improve the lives of children that need extra help to prevent them from falling behind at school and to bring enjoyment into reading.

For over 40 years Beanstalk has recruited, trained and supported reading helpers in primary schools to provide one-to-one support where it is crucially needed. Many children in Suffolk still leave primary school not having met the expected standards of reading which can lead to all sorts of problems in later life.

By working with children who have either fallen behind with their reading, lack confidence, or struggle with their fluency or comprehension, Beanstalk’s reading helpers can make a significant difference to their future prospects. Their one-to-one sessions twice a week with the children they support will help them progress while also helping to encourage reading enjoyment.

In 2016-2017 Beanstalk reading helpers supported approximately 840 children in the East of England with their reading.

Jo Burns, Area Manager for Beanstalk East of England explains,

“Beanstalk reading helpers really are local heroes within our communities and do so much more than just read. They develop confidence, self-esteem and very importantly help make reading fun and enjoyable. We regularly hear from volunteers who have had ‘breakthrough’ moments with a child because they found a particular book, poem or story which captivated that child’s interests.”

Fraser Simpson has been a Beanstalk reading helper in the area for four years. He said,

“Firstly and very quickly after I started with Beanstalk I learnt that working with children is fun. I then realised that I got as much out of the sessions as the children. More recently I have learnt that the Beanstalk sessions have helped make a real difference to children’s performance in the classroom and at home.”

Once trained by Beanstalk, reading helpers on the Beanstalk Reading 321 programme work with three children at a local primary school and spend 30 minutes with each child twice a week, during term-time, for at least one academic year. Each session is meant to be relaxed, informal and fun. By having this one-to-one time with each child the reading helper can help tailor resources to the child’s interests and develop reading skills in a fun and engaging way.

If you would like to become a Beanstalk reading hero in 2018 and would like to help children in your community reach their full potential please call 0845 450 0307 or email: [email protected]

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