With so much disruption to and uncertainty surrounding schooling during the coronavirus pandemic, the stability, focus, confidence and skills built through reading have unsurprisingly suffered for many local youngsters. Berkshire reading charity ABC to Read is pioneering a recovery, moving their life-changing one-to-one mentoring online to support the primary school children who have been identified by their schools as struggling most with their reading.
Pre-Covid, ABC to Read provided trained volunteer mentors to work with children one-to-one, making reading fun again and achieving fantastic results both in and out of the classroom, with reading and broader self-confidence and behaviour seeing remarkable improvement. ABC to Read often work with children experiencing additional barriers to reading and/or disadvantages such as those from EAL or low-income families or with additional educational needs. These children need support more than ever.
In the current climate, the charity now provides virtual reading sessions both for schools and for families at home, supporting over 120 children. Volunteer mentors are still being recruited, so there is scope for much more, with parents in all schools in which ABC to Read work invited to connect and receive additional reading support. All sessions are one-to-one, customised and tailored to each child’s levels and interests.
Having successfully launched this new branch to their fruitful model, ABC to Read are continuing online support while preparing to reintroduce volunteers to schools as they reopen.
Marcia Rowlinson, ABC to Read CEO, said:
We are thrilled to be able to support so many children with our online reading sessions, continuing our commitment to schools and the children we support, thanks to our great team of volunteers and small but excellent staff team. We know that one-to-one, face-to-face teaching is the best method to support children, particularly if they have barriers to their learning, but are delighted to be able to reach more local children online even as we prepare to return to our provision of face-to-face mentoring when schools reopen.
There are still spaces available for any new volunteers to take part in training and for schools to sign up to the scheme. For more information about training days, or joining the scheme as a school or volunteer mentor, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
About ABC to Read
ABC to Read trains and supports volunteers in primary schools across Berkshire, helping hundreds of children each year to enjoy reading and gain an essential skill for life. The charity has maintained around 120 volunteers working with 500 children each year to improve their reading skills. The children are chosen by the schools as those in most need of reading support. The volunteers are selected by the charity and are DBS checked, trained and supported. ABC to Read are currently campaigning to increase awareness of their work in order to reach more Berkshire children. More information can be found at www.abctoread.org.uk