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Would you like to become a reading volunteer or take part in our mentoring programme as a partner school? Join the programme and help pupils build their confidence and communication skills through weekly mentoring sessions.


The EBA has been working with primary schools and business volunteers in the borough to deliver regular mentoring sessions for children who don’t have the opportunity to read at home. The programme is key to pupils’ interest in reading and future academic development.


Jacqui Webster, Class Teacher at our partner school believes that: “The programme is important for children who don’t tend to pick up a book by themselves. A session with a mentor helps them develop positive relationship to reading which becomes crucial in secondary school where they’ll be asked to do it independently.


“I notice the change in pupils who take part in the programme. They are more engaged in the class, they put more character in their reading and they are prepared to share their views on the books we read.”


The pupils spend half an hour reading with a mentor once a week. This helps them get used to reading out loud, improve their pronunciation skills and gives them the chance to ask questions.


Shealanne says the programme helps her because the mentor pronounces the word letter by letter for her if she makes a mistake. She is not always confident in her reading but has a favourite book, the Twits by Roald Dahl, that she enjoys reading in the class.


“I am not always confident either but I enjoy the class discussions more since I started the reading programme,” agrees Juan.


“My favourite thing about the sessions is when I finish the book because I feel happy and excited about starting a new one,” says Omar.


It is our business partners who volunteer half an hour a week and support the children on their journey to self-confidence and better engagement in the class.


“I can see an improvement in all the children I’ve been reading with. I think a big part of it is the confidence,” says Guy Rogers who has been involved in the programme for about a year as one of our business volunteers.


“You can see the children are not always motivated because we read during their lunch break but they get used to it and it becomes a norm. Sometimes I ask them at the end what we’ve been reading about and that helps them focus on the story while reading but also builds their vocabulary,” he says.


“I think one of the biggest benefits for the children about reading out loud to an adult is that someone makes the time to sit down with them and says ‘let’s read together’. The fact that someone engages with them in regular sessions, helps them create that positive attitude to reading,” says Jacqui.


If you would like to join the Primary Readers programme, please contact us and we will provide you with the details.

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