Leeds charity Let's read by Learning Partnerships

Let’s Read Programme by Learning Partnerships

A school reading volunteer programme which aims to raise levels of literacy amongst inner-city primary school children. Volunteers from local businesses and the community provide regular support to help improve the children’s literacy and language skills.

Want to volunteer?

What is Let’s Read Programme by Learning Partnerships?

A primary school literacy programme which aims to address the link between deprivation and poor educational achievement and raise levels of literacy amongst inner-city children.

Through the support of reading volunteers, the programme helps children struggling with their literacy skills to become confident and able readers, to access the education they deserve and achieve their potential.

Why we need reading volunteers?

Reading is a vital skill in today’s world and the first step to education. Being able to read impacts on learning and achievement in every area of the curriculum and children who struggle encounter barriers to learning throughout each day in school.

Weak reading skills also prevent children from reading for pleasure and enjoying a world of fiction, not to mention reducing their ability to cope and be independent in the real world.

Lockdown has had an impact on children’s learning and for many, the school closures will have negatively affected their progress and achievement. It is recognised that the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers will widen even further. Please Join us as a reading volunteer to help us prevent this from happening!

Why become a reading volunteer?

Let's Read by Learning Partnerships

By providing weekly individual support to targeted children you not only help to increase their reading levels and literacy attainment but also help to foster a love of reading and a positive attitude to learning.

You can make a lifelong difference

Evaluation shows that that volunteer support provides the children with an opportunity to develop their language and communication skills as well as increase their self-confidence, self-esteem and social skills.

In addition to providing the children with positive role models, volunteers can provide the opportunity to interact with professional people outside the boundaries of school and an insight into the world of work.

It’s rewarding

Knowing you are making a difference and that the children look forward to your visits is really rewarding. Volunteers from our recent evaluation survey share what they enjoy the most:

“ Seeing the children become more enthusiastic and confident as the weeks go by, they become less shy and ask questions whereas compared to the first week they were really quiet.”

“Seeing the kids improve and building that rapport with them.

“The feeling that I am contributing to the children acquiring a really important life skill. “

Get the ‘feel good factor’

Giving time to the community and providing ‘hands on’ practical support to the children to help them improve their reading, literacy and communication  skills and better their future life chances and choices.

Increase your knowledge and skills

Develop your own communication skills, confidence and self-esteem as well as increasing your social awareness and knowledge of the education sector.

Get to know the local community

Increase your understanding of the inner-city neighbourhoods and the different and diverse communities of Leeds.

What opportunities are available to get involved?

We are currently working with a number of primary schools mainly in East Leeds (Burmantofts, Gipton and Seacroft) and South Leeds (Beeston & Hunslet) as well as a few in other inner-city areas of Leeds.

Opportunities are available for reading volunteers to work with children at nominated schools in these areas for an hour a week (same day and time each week, usually 1-2pm).

How does it work in school?

The reading sessions usually take place in school libraries, classrooms, shared areas or other suitable spaces. This varies from school to school depending on the space available. During the hour, volunteers work with targeted children on an individual basis – reading and talking about the book, general discussion and chat. Wherever possible volunteers read with the same children each week to ensure continuity and continued support.

Your first visit to the school will usually be an ‘induction’ session where you will meet the member of school staff responsible for the reading volunteers in school. This session will include information on the school’s policies and procedures, the class and children you will be reading with and a tour of the school.

We will also ensure that you have the contact details for the school so that if, for any reason you are unable to attend your reading session, you can inform the school.

What do I need to do to get involved?

In order to become a reading volunteer, you must

  • Be able to visit a school in East or South Leeds for an hour a week, plus travel time
  • Commit for at least a school year
  • Be fluent in English and a competent reader
  • Believe in the importance of literacy
  • Enjoy spending time with children
  • Have been a resident in the UK for the last 2 years
  • Agree to undertake a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Check and be able to supply 2 references
  • Attend the 2.5 hour initial volunteer training session

Our reading volunteers come from all walks of life and volunteer for their own reasons but share a love of books and a desire to help children with their reading, to access the education they deserve and better their future life chances and choices.

We don’t ask for formal qualifications or specific experience but do value the following attributes in our volunteers; patience, enthusiasm, good listeners, good communicators, encouraging and a passion for reading!

Let's read by learning partnerships
let's read by Learning Partnerships

If you’d like to get involved with the important and rewarding task of supporting the children, contact:

Name: Louise McNamara

Tel: 0113 8245418

Email: Louise.McNamara@learningpartnerships.org.uk

We would like to thank the programme funders 2020/21: Jimbo’s Fund, Charles Brotherton Trust, Wades Charity, Sir George Martin Trust, Igen Trust, Betty Messenger Foundation and JJ Charitable Trust.

Leeds charity Let's Read Programme by Learning Partnerships