It has been a busy summer for The Reader, a national charity which sparks personal and social change, by bringing people together and books to life.
The organisation successfully secured grant funding of £373,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation back in June to support First Page – a project that will significantly improve the life chances of over 2,000 disadvantaged children in the North West and inspire them to develop a life-long love of ‘reading for pleasure’.
Working with partners across the region, The Reader will be embedding Shared Reading – bringing children and families together to explore literature aloud – within services across communities to ensure that families who could most benefit from the experience can access activities close to home, in places that they know and trust.
Through First Page, The Reader is delivering training for staff and volunteers who can then run their own Shared Reading experiences with children or weekly story and rhyme time sessions. The project also offers ‘Stories for You and Yours workshops’ which are relaxed sessions for parents and carers who want to build confidence and share short stories with their little ones.
The project also offers families and partner organisations a chance to take part in Family Fun Days at The Storybarn– The Reader’s imaginative play space in Liverpool where young children and their families can share in the delights of reading together. This will give people from across the North West an opportunity to experience the unique, immersive sessions enjoyed by thousands of local families each year.
Kara Orford, Children and Young Persons Manager, said: “It’s been wonderful to welcome families from partner organisations, including Alder Hey, Home-Start and Croxteth Family Matters, to our Family Fun Days throughout the summer.
“So far, 99 adults and 139 children have joined us to take part in a jam-packed programme of creative crafts, outdoor adventuring, ice cream and, of course, lots and lots of stories.
The feedback form the summer Storybarn Family Fun Days tells its own story:
“The staff are fantastic and kept my grand-daughter amused all day,” were the words of one grandparent.
“Today was the first time I have seen her listen to a whole story with interest,” added a parent.
The Steve Morgan Foundation first worked with The Reader back in 2010, and the trustees have always been impressed by the entrepreneurial approach with which the charity has pursued its mission to bring about a reading revolution that makes great literature accessible to everyone.
The Reader, which last month hit a major milestone when it reached 500 Shared Reading groups across the UK, is hoping for an equally busy and successful end to 2018 as it continues to call for volunteers who can help to make Shared Reading part of the fabric of society.
TheReader, which also has links to other charities supported by the by the Steve Morgan Foundation (including Home-Start Southport & Formby, Rock Ferry Family and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral) uses Shared Reading to improve well-being, reduce isolation and build community and connectedness across the UK and beyond. Having hit a major milestone last month when it reached 500 Shared Reading groups across the UK, the charity is hoping for an equally busy and successful end to 2018.
To find out more about The Reader, visit: www.thereader.org.uk