A LITERACY charity has been praised for providing reading support to Wirral’s children for three years.

Beanstalk recruits volunteers from local communities and the trains and supports them to provide one-to-one literacy support to children in primary schools who need extra help with their reading and a bit of a confidence boost.

Mount Primary School, in Wallasey, is one of the schools that invested in Beanstalk’s service back in 2011 and now has three volunteers supporting nine children.

Beanstalk volunteers support three children each on a one-to-one basis.
They visit the school twice a week and spend 30 minutes with each child, reading, talking and playing games.

They support the same children for a year, as this enables the volunteer to build a supportive relationship with the children and really see them progress.

Head teacher, Mr Cassidy, said: “You cannot under estimate the difference that positive adult role models make to children.

“When that is invested in regular one-to-one reading support, the value is significant in so many ways.

“The difference in reading ages is clear. Less quantifiable, but more important to the work with Beanstalk, is the difference it makes to children’s confidence and emotional development.

“Beanstalk volunteers also help to develop communication and support our children emotionally and socially. Talking and playing games are as vital as the reading as it all develops children’s language skills.”

When asked about the school’s arrangement with Beanstalk, Mr Cassidy said: “We are very happy with the work that Beanstalk does.

"We would love to expand that further over the next few years and would encourage anybody who has a love of reading and helping young children to enrol and become a Beanstalk volunteer. 

"Their training, resources and on-going support enables the volunteers to do a great job.”

In addition to Mount Primary School, Beanstalk’s service is used by 25 other primary schools in the Wirral area, some of which are looking for additional volunteer reading helpers right now.

These schools are located specifically in Wallasey, Birkenhead, Bebington, Hoylake and Port Sunlight.

If you or someone you know would like to volunteer as a reading helper, you can contact Beanstalk direct on 0151 722 4743 or email merseyside@beanstalkcharity.org.uk