Bookmark Reading is a literacy charity helping children develop the reading skills they need to succeed in school and beyond by creating flexible volunteering at the heart of our communities. We link schools to local volunteers who can provide extra reading support to children who need it. On the Bookmark App volunteers are able to pick sessions that suit them, making it easier than ever to fit volunteering around other commitments whilst changing a child's story.
More than 1 in 4 children leave primary school in England each year unable to read to the expected standard and this number is even higher amongst disadvantaged children. When young people do not gain the reading skills they need it has a huge impact on their lives. Low literacy levels can reduce confidence, inhibit progress in other subjects and narrow future opportunities. At Bookmark, we know that reading is not just about attainment on paper. Bookmark volunteers encourage the children they work with to read for pleasure by engaging with literature that suits their own interests. By talking about books and discovering their own taste, children are able to expand their vocabulary and imagination. They are better prepared to articulate their own thoughts and feelings, helping them to grow and express themselves throughout their lives.
A superstar Bookmaker is friendly, approachable and is aware of the importance that learning to read can have on a persons life. They are able to have fun in the sessions whilst listening to any concerns of the child they work with. Through discussions with their reader, they are able to discover the interests of the child and they bring in books and other material from their library, to help the child enjoy reading. They are open minded and do not make assumptions about a child.
Our unique Bookmark App gives volunteers more flexibility and control than traditional opportunities. On the app, volunteers can look for programmes within their chosen radius (1 mile / 2 miles) and see which schools in their community need support. They can also pick sessions at times and dates that work for them as well as interact with teachers and rearrange sessions when the need arises. Volunteers commit to just 30-minute sessions twice a week for 6-weeks. Many people want to volunteer but don't have the time. Our system makes it possible for anyone to make a difference to a child's life, whilst working volunteering around their other commitments.