Bookmark Reading Volunteer

Bookmark exists to change children’s life stories through the joy of reading. We partner with schools to develop whole school reading cultures and to provide one-to-one reading support. For the children who need us, we’re changing their story.

What You'll Do: 

 

About the role

 

Each year, one in four children leave primary school unable to read well and disadvantaged children are disproportionately affected. Struggling to read can contribute to poor educational attainment, lower literacy in adulthood and has even been linked to a lower life expectancy. 

 

Bookmark volunteers spend one hour a week reading stories and playing games with a child aged between five and ten years old, on our secure online platform. The programme involves two 30-minute sessions a week with the same child, for six weeks. You book your programme through the Bookmark Volunteer Hub and select sessions at times that work with your schedule.

 

“It was such a wonderful experience. I was very happy knowing that I was helping someone. The child really improved a lot during the 6 weeks. It was really rewarding for me to see the improvement.” — Joe, Bookmark volunteer

 

Main duties and objectives

 

  • Help children who struggle with their reading gain essential skills at a crucial age. This will prepare them to move up the school, ready to tackle new challenges without falling further behind. Three quarters of our volunteers noticed their reader become more confident with their reading.
  • Make learning to read fun by bringing your own personality into the sessions and getting to know your reader’s interests. It’s amazing when you introduce a book, comic or poem for the first time that they love! 90% of teachers said that pupils enjoy reading more after our programme.
  • Give a child one-to-one attention and be a role model. Teachers have told us that children really benefit from this dedicated time and found it boosted their self-esteem and confidence as well as their reading. You can read more about this in our Impact Report.

 

 

Why You'll Love It: 

 

New government data shows that attainment fell further for poorer pupils this year which has widened the attainment to the largest it has been in 10 years.  

 

As a Bookmark volunteer, you’ll help to bridge this gap. You’ll:

 

  • Help children who struggle with their reading gain essential skills at a crucial age. This will prepare them to move up the school, ready to tackle new challenges without falling further behind. Three quarters of our volunteers noticed their reader become more confident with their reading.
  • Make learning to read fun by bringing your own personality into the sessions and getting to know your reader’s interests. It’s amazing when you introduce a book, comic or poem for the first time that they love! 90% of teachers said that pupils enjoy reading more after our programme.
  • Give a child one-to-one attention and be a role model. Teachers have told us that children really benefit from this dedicated time and found it boosted their self-esteem and confidence as well as their reading. You can read more about this in our Impact Report.

 

Helping a child with their reading is also really fun and rewarding. Over 60% of our volunteers said their own wellbeing had improved because of volunteering with Bookmark.

What We're Looking For: 

 

Our volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. At Bookmark we aim to make volunteering accessible to as many people as possible, so we can help more children.

 

  • Are you over 18 and currently living in the UK?
  • Are you passionate about literacy and its importance?
  • Are you able to show enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and patience?
  • Can you commit to two 30-minute sessions a week, for six consecutive weeks?
  • Are you willing to complete at least 3 six-week programmes a year?
  • Can you provide two references for your application (for safeguarding reasons)?
  • Do you have access to a PC, laptop or Chromebook with a webcam and internet connection (iPads, phones and/or tablets are not compatible), and do you feel relatively comfortable using technology?
    • If NO, then you can still apply to be to volunteer on our face-to-face programmes in certain locations.
Summary
Volunteering
Volunteer
Education
Young People
Barnet
Brent
Camden
Croydon
Hackney
Hammersmith and Fulham
Harrow
Islington
Kensington and Chelsea
Lambeth
Merton
Remote opportunity
Tower Hamlets
Wandsworth
Location of opportunity: 
Remote or at a school near you (dependent on location). For a list of face-to-face locations, please visit our website here: https://www.bookmarkreading.org/f2f-schools-list
18 Weeks Minimum
1 Hours / Week
Skills you will develop: 
Motivating Others
Digital Literacy
Empathy
Skills you should possess: 
Teaching / Training
Languages you should know: 
English
Relevant interests: 
Charity / Nonprofit
Education
Requirements: 
DBS check
Over 18 years old
Training

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