- We have set up 'Schoolreaders Storytime', a series of short films of our volunteers reading stories. These are available to our partner schools to use in the classroom, or to share with children who can enjoy them at home. The films are fun and entertaining and also contain valuable teaching, with care being taken to assist with comprehension and to sound out words, and discuss characters and illustrations. Some 'Schoolreaders Storytime' films also have related craft activities. Schools wishing to access Storytime videos should click here to become a partner school, or contact us using this form.
- We are evaluating alternative ways of delivering our support sessions, assessing both technological aids and online platforms.
- We are sending out hints, tips and reading lists to encourage children to read during lockdown. We have also sent out links so that children can download free audiobooks to enjoy at home.
Schoolreaders' response to the COVID-19 crisis
Currently we are unable to deliver support sessions in schools, however we are fulfilling our mission in different ways, supporting children's reading, keeping in close contact with our dedicated volunteers and planning for a future when there will be even greater need for our service.
- We are keeping in close contact, via email, post and telephone, with our volunteers to ensure that we are ready to support children as soon as we can. Some of our volunteers are in vulnerable groups and/or living alone and we are offering them support including by providing access to a chatline and links to helpful resources. One volunteer commented, 'Your letters have been a godsend... thank you for your continued support'.
FOR THE FUTURE
- We are keeping in touch with other charities and literacy organisations, and calling on government to make literacy support a cornerstone of their COVID-19 recovery plan. We are, wherever possible, offering our help and speaking out about the impact the crisis could have on a generation of pupils.
- Our efforts to fundraise continue in order that we can support more children than ever.
- We are actively recruiting new volunteers so that we will have as many Schoolreaders as possible ready to support children as soon as we can re-start our service.