⭐️ VOLUNTEERS WANTED ⭐️
After what has been the most challenging few months all of us have ever faced, here at The Foundation have been fortunate to work with local community groups to support our most vulnerable residents. We have been able to see first hand people going the extra mile to help make people’s lives that little bit better and see the goodness of our community shine through.
Due to restrictions still in place in many of our local schools, we are going to have to pause our Young Chamber Cadets Programme until September 2021. Instead, for this coming academic year, we would like to support our Young Chamber Cadet Schools in a slightly different way. Having spoken with some of our teachers and Heads, there’s a huge concern that some of the children will have fallen behind with their reading skills during the Pandemic. It’s become apparent that many children aren’t listened to at home and some will not have picked up a book during lockdown. It is no hidden fact that many children will be returning to school this academic year with reduced reading skills and there is a huge concern that other skills previously learnt will have fallen during the pandemic. This is obviously going to be a major challenge to all teachers from September.
To assist with this issue, our chairman Peter Johnson has funded the creation of our reading and aspiration programme – Inspired Reading – working with children between the ages of 6 to 9 years old.
It’s estimated that children from some households in our area could begin the next school year having lost as much as two thirds of the expected progress from the previous year in reading. The schools just do not have the man power or resource to support these children and so the likelihood is that these children will suffer as a consequence – not just academically but in terms of self-confidence too. The loss of school contact time will undoubtedly have some impact on children’s achievement. And if achievement is affected, so too might be employment, earnings and lifetime wellbeing.
That is why we are appealing for an army of volunteers to go into schools once a week for an hour to support our local children – listening to them read, mentoring, chatting with them and inspiring them about their futures.
We will continue to work with our existing schools who have been identified as ‘cold spot’ schools in areas of deprivation and fourth generation unemployment. We aim to match a volunteer with two or three children from the same school, from Year 2, 3 and 4 (ages 6 to 9). Our volunteers will go into school once a week for an hour (or more if they are able to spare more time), working with the same children for the entirety of the programme. Supporting the children, listening to them read, mentoring and chatting with them on a one to one basis about how their week is going and hopefully inspire them about their own futures. Many of the children we will be working with may not have many positive role models in their lives and so we hope that our programme will support with this too. It’s a very simplistic programme, but it is believed will make a huge difference to a lot of children and support the schools where they need it most this year. All we ask is that our volunteers are able to commit to the duration of the programme. This is the most important part of our volunteering, as some of the children have been let down in their short lives.
Our volunteers will mentor the same 2/3 children for the entirety of the programme, working with them every week – each for 30 minutes on a one to one basis. We aim to start our programme in October and complete in June 2021 when we plan to have a celebration of success at Birkenhead Central Library which all children and volunteers will be invited to attend.
We will be funding all enhanced DBS checks and certificates for any volunteer who would like to support and we will also be providing any resources, such as little educational games, etc, along with a ‘hints & tips’ training guide on how to support a child’s reading successfully.
Our Inspired Reading Programme will make a huge difference to a lot of children and support the schools where they need it most this year……… and we think that our volunteers will enjoy the programme too!
If you are interested in volunteering or would like to find out more, please email Lorraine at email@example.com