YEP readers to start a new chapter in Leeds schools...

Emma Cook, deputy head at Shakespeare Primary School, with pupil Joana Feio and Beanstalk volunteer Barbara Wolstencroft.

Emma Cook, deputy head at Shakespeare Primary School, with pupil Joana Feio and Beanstalk volunteer Barbara Wolstencroft.

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We issued a rallying cry to the people of Leeds to help struggling youngsters get to grips with reading – and you have answered our call.

The Yorkshire Evening Post is on a mission to Get Leeds Reading and we want to recruit an army of 50 book-loving volunteers to provide pupils with one-to-one support.

The first YEP readers to successfully apply have passed the interview stage and will now undergo their training with our campaign partner, literacy charity Beanstalk, before the end of the month.

And they could be sharing their love of literature with youngsters in the city’s classrooms as soon as schools return from the Easter break.

Lorraine Dowson, Beanstalk Yorkshire and North East’s recruitment and training executive, praised the enthusiastic response of YEP readers and urged more of you to follow their lead.

She said: “You don’t need to be an expert – you just need to love reading. It’s very informal, friendly training and I think people come out of it feeling ‘yes, we can do this’.

She added: “We need more people to come forward and what they will gain is a great deal of satisfaction.”

Around 1,000 youngsters left primary school in Leeds last year unable to read properly and half of them started secondary school with a reading age of seven or below.

Leeds mum and fitness guru Nell McAndrew has already thrown her support behind our campaign. To help change a child’s life ring 0845 450 0344 or email beanstalkcharity.org.uk.

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