The Reading Leader Scheme is organised by Reading Matters, in conjunction with Corby Reads. It is a registered charity which trains and supports volunteers to work with young people, helping them to become confident and enthusiastic readers.
Year 12 students are trained for six hours; upon completion they then give up half an hour of their time once a week to help a Year 7 student engage in reading activities. The mentor prepares materials from a wide range of resources, to match the ability needs and interest of the reader.
Curriculum Support Manager, Mrs Sandra Childs has been training students for more than seven years. She said ‘I learnt about the initiative through Corby Reads and thought it was so fantastic so brought it to Brooke Weston. I have trained as many as 60 students in one year. I find it very rewarding. For the Year 12 students the benefit is having a nationally recognised accreditation to be able to put on their UCAS forms or CVs. For the younger ones it can help on so many different levels. It keeps bullying down as they have got someone to talk to and a friend in the Sixth Form, it builds their confidence in the classroom and can change their reading age by up to three years.’
For Year 12 student Daniel Manning, the reasons to become a reading leader were very close to his heart. ‘When I was younger I didn’t enjoy reading or have the resources available or anyone who put in the time and effort to help me. As I grew older someone similar to what we are doing changed that and helped me to realise how joyful reading is. Now I want to be able to give back to someone else and help them to enjoy reading as much as I do.’