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Children’s Charity Bookmark Launch New Volunteering Role for 16-17 year olds

Children's Charity Bookmark Launch New Volunteering Role for 16-17 year olds

As we approach Student Volunteering Week, 12-18th February, a new volunteering role for 16 and 17 year olds created by Bookmark Reading Charity is set to inject much needed support into primary schools.

The children’s charity has launched its ‘Reading Mentors’ programme, offering sixth form and college students the opportunity to deliver one-to-one sessions to 5-10 year olds to support them with their reading, either in person or virtually.

Schools and colleges can find out more on the Bookmark website here and if interested can contact [email protected] to book in some time with the team to discuss next steps.

With more than one in four children leaving primary school unable to read well, it’s disadvantaged children who are being disproportionately affected. Bookmark is partnering with primary schools who benefit from the additional support volunteers can make to its children.

Head of Schools at Bookmark Reading, Bea Stafford-Smith said:

“The Reading Mentors programme provides a brand new volunteering role for 16 and 17 year olds at Bookmark Reading Charity.

“Through their sixth form or college, they’ll be able to apply to become a volunteer, accessing training and developing skills to volunteer with children at our partner schools. Reading Mentors will be making a direct impact on children’s confidence, literacy skills and wellbeing, while also developing skills that they can demonstrate on personal statements for university, job applications and other programmes that encourage volunteering experience such as the Duke of Edinburgh.”

Student volunteering has been found to improve student wellbeing, improve employability and contribute positively to the wider and local community life. Bookmark’s volunteer training and support provided will enhance Reading Mentors’ skills and equip them within their study, work and future volunteering.

In its recent Impact Report, the charity found that 95% of teachers saw an increase in children’s reading confidence following its one-to-one sessions. It’s hoped Reading Mentors will contribute to Bookmarks’ ambitious goal of delivering 50,000 sessions with children in 2024.

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