Give the gift of reading this December

Every year we highlight a Christmas good cause with a special resonance for writers. This year we have chosen Schoolreaders.

Schoolreaders is a national children’s literacy charity that matches volunteers to local primary schools, where they provide one-to-one reading sessions with children. Its mission is to end illiteracy for the next generation, and the charity will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2023.

Just ten minutes a week with a Schoolreaders volunteer has been shown to improve children’s reading fluency, comprehension, and enjoyment. It also gives them valuable time with an adult who is not a teacher or parent, which supports the development of their social skills.

Children that don’t have the opportunity to read, have someone to read to each week, and as they do it regularly, a good relationship unfolds. These children have someone to talk to about books, who shows a genuine interest in them and their ability to read.” Reading Lead, Primary School, Bradford

This Christmas, Schoolreaders is launching its ‘Give A Little Time’ campaign, encouraging donations of £15 to allow them to provide crucial reading support to those children with the greatest need. These donations will allow volunteers to inspire more children to develop a love for reading.

Donate today


Man reads to childOne in four children leave primary school every year unable to read to the required standard. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, this situation is now even worse, particularly for the youngest and most disadvantaged children, with literacy levels among six-year-olds in England falling to the lowest level in almost a decade.

We have a mix of readers in our school and inevitably lockdowns have led to some gaps in literacy levels amongst our disadvantaged pupils. Reading aloud to an adult is especially important for children as they don’t always have this at home.” Headteacher, Primary School, Sheffield

I like reading to Diane because she is kind and helps me understand the words I am reading.” Primary School child, Leicestershire

As well as donations, Schoolreaders are also calling for more volunteers. Anyone in the UK over the age of 18 can apply. Schoolreaders already have a network of Author Supporters, who play a key role in raising awareness of the charity’s crucial work.

To learn more about Schoolreaders, visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.