Bookmark is a literacy charity giving children the reading skills and confidence they need for a fair chance in life, through our flexible, volunteer-led programme.
For the children who need us, we are changing their story.
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
Why volunteer with Bookmark?
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.
Is volunteering with Bookmark right for me?
Our volunteers are all ages and from all walks of life. At Bookmark we aim to make volunteering accessible to as many people as possible, so we can help more children.
Are you over 18 and currently living in the UK?
Are you passionate about literacy and its importance?
Are you able to show enthusiasm, encouragement, empathy and patience?
Can you commit to two 30-minute sessions a week, for six consecutive weeks?
Are you willing to complete at least 3 six-week programmes a year?
Can you provide two references for your application (for safeguarding reasons)?
Do you have access to a PC, laptop or Chromebook with a webcam and internet connection (iPads, phones and tablets are not compatible), and do you feel relatively comfortable using technology?
If NO, then you can still apply to be to volunteer on our face-to-face programmes in future - our team will be in touch once it is safe to resume these.
Are you planning to volunteer from a work computer? Check here to see if you can access our reading platform.
Start Date: 22-04-2021