Campaign on course to Get Leeds Reading

Bob Murphy reads to youngsters.
Bob Murphy reads to youngsters.
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the yep’s ambitious campaign to tackle illiteracy across the city has been hailed a success by children’s literacy charity Beanstalk.

We set out to double the number of Beanstalk reading helpers in Leeds primary schools from 40 to 80.

And the enthusiastic response from you, the YEP readers, has been staggering.

Applications have poured in from across the city.

And in the space of two months we have now recruited 28 new reading volunteers, who are all due to take up their roles in Leeds schools in the summer term.

The charity also has another seven applicants lined up for interviews after the Easter break.

Jenny Lewis, volunteer services manager for Beanstalk, said: “The YEP readers have been enthusiastic, motivated and wonderfully generous with their time.”

She added: “We will not be stopping at 40 – the more dedicated and enthusiastic reading helpers we can train, the more schools we can involve and the more children we can support to read, grow and succeed.”

Last year, more than 1,000 of the city’s 11-year-olds did not reach the expected reading standard. The YEP joined forces with Beanstalk – formerly Volunteer Reading Help – in a bid to save these youngsters from the blight of illiteracy.

The charity’s volunteer reading helpers provide one-to-one support for pupils in Leeds primary schools who are struggling with reading.

Since the launch of our campaign, three new Leeds schools have signed up for Beanstalk’s support and the number of West Yorkshire volunteers has now reached triple figures – with 100 reading helpers supporting 300 children across the county.

And thanks to generous contributions from some of the city’s businesses we have also raised almost £8,000 to help train the new volunteers.

To apply, go to www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk/news-and-media/get-leeds-reading-campaign or ring Beanstalk on 0113 815 1744 or 0845 450 0316.

Dr Tom Dobson, course director at Leeds Beckett University.

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