Join us and make a real difference to a child's life
A Schoolreaders volunteer's time can be enough to transform a child’s reading ability, ensuring that they are able to get the most out of their education and enabling them to explore new worlds of knowledge, inspiration, creativity and fun.
A VOLUNTEER'S VIEW
Watch the two-minute film below to hear about Kathy Thompson's experience as a Schoolreaders volunteer.
WHAT'S REQUIRED TO BECOME A SCHOOLREADER?
If you have some time to spare, a good grasp of written English, and if you enjoy spending time with children, you could become a Schoolreader. We do not ask for any particular educational qualifications. Our volunteers are drawn from all walks of life, and range in age from 18 to 92. Our volunteers get enormous pleasure from seeing the difference that a few hours of their time can make to a child's reading ability, confidence and enjoyment.
We do request that you commit to a minimum of a year's volunteering during term times, and will require you to agree to our Code of Conduct and have a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check carried out. Click here to find out more about the DBS.
So, how does it work? To start with, you need to fill in our application form, either online, or by post. You will then be contacted for an interview either by telephone or in person.
On successful completion of this stage we will take information from you regarding your availability, the distance that you can travel and any other personal requirements. These are used to find the 'best fit' of school for you.
Once we have identified a school suitable for you we will contact you to see if you are happy with the match. If you accept, you will be contacted by the nominated school to arrange a mutually suitable time for you to visit. We will send you a helpsheet so that you know what to expect at this first meeting. Usually, you will be given a tour of the school, start the process of your DBS check, and meet staff and children. The school will then be in direct contact with you regarding a convenient start date.
Schoolreaders will keep you informed at every stage of the application process and your Schoolreaders contact will remain available to support you and answer any queries on an on-going basis.
IT CAN TAKE TIME ...
The joining process is simple and we will make every effort to get you started as quickly as possible.
Please note, however, that depending on your location, individual circumstances and the level of need within local schools, it can take anything from two weeks to three months to place you. On very rare occasions, a match cannot be found.
FAQs FOR VOLUNTEERS
Click here to find answers to the most common questions that we are asked. Please do contact us if you still have queries. And read some of our volunteers' comments on their involvement in the scheme.
OUR CODE OF CONDUCT
We ask all of our volunteers to sign up to the Schoolreaders Code of Conduct which we have formulated in consultation with our partner schools. Click here to see our Code of Conduct. If you're ready to take the next step, please click on the button below:
MEET SOME OF OUR READING VOLUNTEERS:
JEAN JOHNSON, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Jean Johnson began volunteering with Schoolreaders in 2016. Although she had no previous experience working with children she immediately felt at home and her empathetic approach made her invaluable in the classroom. The school is slightly further from her home in High Wycombe than Jean had requested, but this turns out to have a silver lining; the 20-minute walk to work gets 4,000 steps under her belt each day!
HARRY CERNIK, Arlesey, Bedfordshire
Harry taught for thirty-six years, working mainly in primary schools, but spending his last twelve years in middle schools (with pupils aged 9 to 13) where he was able to specialise in Maths and PE. He later became head of Humanities while also being a Year 5 form tutor, so the majority of his teaching time was still spent with primary pupils. Harry retired in 2011 but joined Schoolreaders soon afterwards, and says it is wonderful to be able to go back into a school and help pupils to read. He really enjoys the interaction with the children and says he feels welcome and valued on every visit.
KATHRYNN HARRIS, Clophill, Bedfordshire
Kathrynn Harris has been volunteering with Schoolreaders for nearly two years. Kathrynn has been retired for some years from a demanding role designing databases for Volkswagen, and is pleased to have found a volunteering opportunity that is at once fun and stimulating. She visits her local village school twice a week, and now feels so much part of the class she supports that she is hoping to stay with them as they make their way up the school. She is often included in their outings and activities, and enjoys going on school trips with them.
CELIA DOUGLAS, Market Rasen, Lincolnshire
Celia is a retired primary school teacher and became a Schoolreader in April 2017. She says that going into a local school to listen to children read is a total delight, with the mornings disappearing far too quickly. Celia is married to a farmer and has three grown up children who share her and her husband’s love of sports of all kinds.