Our Literacy Volunteers help children in primary schools and early years settings. Literacy Volunteers don’t teach children how to read, but support them to develop a life-long love of reading for pleasure. You will help children on a one to one basis to give them confidence in their reading and communication skills through conversation, reading, writing and playing games.

The Role

Literacy Volunteers support primary school children one to one with their reading and communication skills, helping children to love books and to open the doors for life-long achievement.
You will be school based and part of a volunteering work force that is transforming children’s lives. You will attend school once a week for a morning or afternoon. You will usually work with the same 4/5 children each week, for half an hour each for at least a term.
The children chosen by the school may be behind with their reading, not getting much help at home, have poor conversation skills and /or be lacking in confidence.
You will read, talk, play games – board games, word-based educational games, paper and pencil games, crosswords, word searches – and have a fun time with your selected children. You work away from the classroom, on a one to one basis and give the children confidence and help them enjoy reading and communicating.
You will be placed in a school as close to your home as possible – travel expenses are paid.
You will be required to complete a small amount of paperwork (e.g. keeping records of your sessions) while at school.

What we need from you as a Volunteer

You will need to like children, enjoy reading, be flexible and reliable, be a good listener, be patient and encouraging and be able to work with children at their own pace.
You will need to commit to visiting the school on the same morning or afternoon each week for at least a year.
You should be able to commit to attending at least two Volunteer Network Meetings in a year to keep your practice and skills updated.
You do not need any formal qualifications – training and ongoing support is provided. However, you do need a good level of English – equivalent to a Level One Basic Skills in Literacy.
You will need to be aware of current safeguarding issues and how they apply to both the children they are working with and to your own safer working practices (training will be given).
You should have a positive attitude and be aware of and committed to our Equality and Diversity Policy.
You will respect and value differences in age, ability, disability, culture, race, faith, gender and sexual orientation.
You will be vetted through the Disclosure and Barring Service and the appropriate level of suitability checks will be made.
You need to be 18 years or over.

Ongoing Support

This is a rewarding and enjoyable role for Volunteers and very much valued by our member schools. Many of our Volunteers continue as a Literacy Volunteer for years – sometimes 15+! Volunteers work solo in schools with the children they help but as a Volunteer you are not on your own – we hold Volunteer Network Meetings where you can meet other Volunteers and exchange tips and ideas and you are supported by a Volunteer/Schools Co-ordinator.