ABC to Read Charity improves children’s attitudes to reading

Berkshire charity ABC to Read provides an invaluable service to families in Berkshire, with 99% of those surveyed reporting an improvement in their children’s attitudes to reading.

The charity has released its annual statistics for 2016/2017 and alongside this incredible boost in children’s attitudes, also reports a remarkable 98% improvement in reading accuracy and a 96% improvement in reading comprehension.

The charity’s model of assigning a volunteer mentor to work with primary school children on a one-to-one basis is achieving excellent results and leaving teachers and children alike thrilled with their progress. The children are identified by their schools as those struggling most with their reading with many of the schools assigning their pupil premium to provide an ABC to Read mentor. The improvement in the children’s reading also made an impact beyond books, with teachers commenting:

  • The child does not read at home so having someone to read to in class has made a big impact on her reading. Her enthusiasm and engagement has been a big step for a child who thought she couldn’t read and was not interested in it before.
  • The intervention has really suited the child – she thrives when given 1.1 attention and it has been a real advantage to her to have regular and significant time to read and interact with an adult.
  • The child finds it difficult to trust some adults and having some one on one time with an adult to focus on her reading and playing games has made her more trusting and confident. All areas have developed: her decoding, blending, fluency, expression and comprehension are all much stronger.”

The children often look forward to their ABC to Read session as a highlight of their week with one child commenting: “I love reading with my volunteer because he is so much fun. We play lots of games and he reads to me as well. We love reading the jokes together!”

The benefits or good reading and comprehension extend beyond the classroom, demonstrated by the 93% of respondents who said their children’s general self-confidence and self-esteem had increased thanks to the time spent with their ABC to Read mentor.

ABC to Read works very closely with schools to ensure that the time children spend with a volunteer mentor complements their work in the rest of their school life and is designed around their specific needs. The annual statistics demonstrate that, as a result of this personalised model, children’s reading levels and general confidence can be dramatically increased.

Marcia Rowlinson, ABC to Read Chief Operating and Development Officer, said: “It’s encouraging to see that our one-to-one model is continuing to make such a tangible impact in the lives of the children we work with and even more so, that the children are enjoying it!”

How to Volunteer for ABC to Read

There are still spaces available for any new volunteers to take part in training and for schools to sign up to the scheme.

For more information about training days or joining the scheme as a school or volunteer mentor, contact:


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