Bookmark Reading Volunteer
Each year, eight children in an average class will leave primary school unable to read well. These children will often struggle in school, and beyond. Many children have fallen even further behind with their reading after the devastating impact of Covid-19.
As a Bookmark online volunteer, you could do something incredible and change a child’s story.
You’ll help a 5-8 year-old learn to read, developing their skills and confidence. You will read together, play games, and see your reader progress, all through our secure online platform.
Our programme involves 30-minute sessions with the same child, twice a week, for six weeks. You book your programme through the Bookmark app and select sessions at times that work with your schedule.
“It was such a wonderful experience. I was very happy knowing that I was helping someone. The child really improved a lot during the 6 weeks. It was really rewarding for me to see the improvement.”
— Joe, Bookmark volunteer
What our volunteers love about Bookmark
Once you have read the Bookmark Reading Volunteer role description here, click below to apply.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on children’s education. One in four children had no schooling or tutoring at all during lockdown, and school closures are estimated to have undone 10 years of progress in narrowing the attainment gap for disadvantaged children.
As a Bookmark volunteer, you’ll help to stop that trend. You’ll:
- Help children who struggle with their reading gain essential skills at a crucial age. This will prepare them to move up the school, ready to tackle new challenges without falling further behind. Three quarters of our volunteers noticed their reader become more confident with their reading.
- Make learning to read fun by bringing your own personality into the sessions and getting to know your reader’s interests. It’s amazing when you introduce a book, comic or poem for the first time that they love! 90% of teachers said that pupils enjoy reading more after our programme.
- Give a child one-to-one attention and be a role model. Teachers have told us that children really benefit from this dedicated time and found it boosted their self-esteem and confidence as well as their reading. You can read more about this in our Impact Report.
Helping a child with their reading is also really fun and rewarding. Over 60% of our volunteers said their own wellbeing had improved because of volunteering with Bookmark.
We'll Support you Every Step of the Way
On the Bookmark app, you can match with a school, give feedback on how it’s going, and arrange sessions at time and dates that work for you.
Receive training and learn new skills
We provide initial training, including six chapters, which cover everything from how to help early readers discuss books, through to safeguarding. This is a great chance for personal development, whether you’re looking to work with children, build your CV, or support the local community.
Join the community
Volunteers can share tips and stories on our online forum and meet other volunteers at Bookmark’s regular events. Your Community Manager is available to answer any questions you have along the way and will also check in with you at the start and end of every programme.
Enrich your week
Taking time out of your day to read with a child can help to support your own wellbeing by adding a new experience to your week. Discussing books with a child can change your perspective and it is also a great excuse to revisit your favourite childhood reads!
Ensuring the safety of children and volunteers is at the heart of what we do. You can find our Safeguarding, Safer Recruitment and other policies relating to the Bookmark Reading Volunteer role here. We have also put all the important information for our Bookmark Reading Volunteers in our volunteer information pack.
“I’m excited to be able to give something back by helping kids to develop a keen interest in books. This has been really fun, especially since the kids enjoy making funny animal noises when sounding those words out in books like ‘The Ugly Duckling.’”
- Safae, Bookmark volunteer