Work of reading buddies at Peterborough schools celebrated

The sterling work of reading buddies in Peterborough schools was celebrated at a special event last week as part of Peterborough Celebrates Reading.

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 11:02 am

The reading buddies scheme is part of the Vision for Reading in Peterborough, launched in January 2018, which sees volunteers reading with primary school children regularly on a one-to-one basis, helping to develop their love of books.

Recently, a number of reading buddies were presented with certificates of appreciation for their work by the Mayor of Peterborough, Cllr Gul Nawaz, at a ceremony at the John Clare Theatre.

Cllr Nawaz said: “It was great to meet some of our reading buddies and thank them for their excellent work. They are providing a really worthwhile service in their own free time.”

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The event to celebrate reading buddies

Sally Atkinson, school improvement adviser for Peterborough City Council, added: “The reading buddies are making a real positive difference in our schools and I’m delighted, because reading skills are crucial in helping children with general learning.

“Children really enjoy being able to read with an adult in a one to one environment, where they can do things at their own pace and get instant feedback. And from the reading buddy’s perspective, it’s a great experience to help a child to learn a skill for life.”

Anyone can become a reading buddy, regardless of their age. Volunteers only need to commit an hour each week for at least one school term and no previous experience is necessary as training is given.

There are currently over 150 reading buddies trained and volunteering in 21 schools in Peterborough.

Graham Crisp, who has been volunteering as a reading buddy at Hampton Hargate Primary School, said: “It’s the best thing I’ve done.

“Primarily it’s all about the children. I’ve had the genuine fortune to have up to 10 children read with me and I can honestly say that each one has been great. Their reading abilities are varied, but I could sense that they all wanted to improve and it is so satisfying to help them develop their reading skills.”

If you are interested in becoming a reading buddy, you can find out more about by emailing [email protected] or calling 01733 86379.