The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the reading and literacy levels of young people throughout the country. Reading Recovery, a collaborative project between Bristol Sport Foundation (BSF) and its various corporate partners helps primary school children aged between 7 and 11 improve their literacy skills by giving them time to practice reading ‘one to one’ with a volunteer adult.
BSF has recently released a deep-dive impact report for the 2020/2021 Reading Recovery Programme that looks at the positive influence it has had on five wards of Greater Bristol.
The report identifies some of the key outcomes from the programme such as improved literacy skills, improved confidence in reading and a renewed love of reading amongst the participants and highlights headline stats:
· Together we delivered 256 hours of voluntary reading time.
· The initiative was delivered in 5 wards of Bristol.
· 38 children were mentored for a minimum of 6 weeks.
· We donated 458 books to families across Greater Bristol who did not have access to books at home.
· 5 Kindle devices donated to vulnerable families in Patchway.
Guy Turner, Associate Partner at EY in Bristol, said: “EY are proud to be a long-term supporter of the Bristol Sports Foundation. We were pleased to be able to get involved, volunteering to assist with the Reading Recovery programme, over the previous six months. This project aligns with the work that the EY Foundation does – working with young people in the UK to realise their career ambitions and helping social enterprise scale up sustainably. Literary skills are a huge part of this and ensuring that children learn these at an early age is hugely important in supporting their later life career aspirations.
“All of our EY volunteers have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to interact virtually with pupils on the Reading Recovery programme and support their learning. We’ve had some great feedback from them and cannot wait for the next time we can get involved.”
Alan Walters, Headteacher at Coniston Primary School, hailed the impact of the mentoring: “Reading Recovery has been a huge success here at Coniston Primary School. The children who have taken part in the programme have thoroughly enjoyed it and the impact has been staggering.
“We chose children who lacked confidence, not only as readers, but also within the classroom environment. The input from the reading ‘buddies’ is caring, encouraging and makes the children feel valued.
“The time they have invested in the children has increased their confidence and enhanced their love of reading. I cannot speak highly enough of the programme, the people involved and the impact it has had on the children at my school.”