Help us give Leeds pupils a brighter future

The first of our Get Leeds Reading volunteers to start in school, Maureen Bacha, from Shadwell. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
The first of our Get Leeds Reading volunteers to start in school, Maureen Bacha, from Shadwell. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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As the summer break approaches, we are issuing a rallying call to our readers to help more Leeds youngsters discover the joy of books.

As part of the YEP’s Get Leeds Reading campaign we are on a mission to recruit an army of 50 people to sign up as volunteer reading helpers with our campaign partner, literacy charity Beanstalk.

Twenty-five people have so far responded to our appeals, 16 of them have now completed their training and 10 are already supporting youngsters in the city’s classrooms.

But we still need more kind-hearted, book-loving individuals to get involved and sign up before the schools break up for the summer.

Lorraine Dowson, recruitment and training executive – Beanstalk Yorkshire and North East, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of the YEP Get Leeds Reading Campaign and are happy to accept applications at any time.

“We are interviewing now for our last training session this term in July, with a view to having new reading helpers in place in September.”

She added: “Our volunteers come from all backgrounds, age and gender but they share a passion for reading, which they want to pass on to children.”

A staggering 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds last year without learning to read properly. But people who are able to spare just a few hours a week to provide struggling youngsters with invaluable one-to-one support, can help give youngsters a brighter future.

Our campaign also urges parents and carers to spend at least 10 minutes EVERY day reading with children.

To find out more contact westyorkshire@beanstalkcharity.org.uk; ring 0845 450 0344 or go to www.beanstalkcharity.org.uk.

PIC: PA

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