After successfully completing our application, vetting (including enhanced DBS) and training, ARCh Reading Helpers are assigned to a local primary school and allocated 3 children to work with. They visit school twice a week, usually early afternoon, and spend 30 minutes 1:1 with each child, sharing fun with books. games and lively conversation. All resources and ongoing support and training are provided by ARCh. Volunteers continue to work with the same 3 children for the entire year (term time only), building supportive mentoring relationships with the children so that, by the end of their time together, children previously reluctant or lacking in confidence are not only switched on to reading, but display improved self-esteem, communication and social skills. There is huge need for ARCh support for children following the disruptions to schooling and social lives caused by the pandemic. The charity provides a very rewarding experience for volunteers - giving children the key life skill of reading for purpose and pleasure is life-enhancing for them and for the children they support.
No particular qualifications are needed to volunteer with ARCh, just a love of reading to impart and good communication skills.
The charity provides comprehensive training - covering how the charity works, the many reasons children may be struggling with reading,how to be an effective volunteer, the process of learning to read, the importance of games, and safeguarding.
Volunteers are allocated to a designated staff member (field worker) within the ARCh team who introdces them to their school, acts as liaison, and supports them throughout their volunteering.
We can offer placements in primary schools throughout Oxford (and countywide if required)
Volunteers benefit in many ways - it is life enhancing to volunteer, to become involved in the local communoity and to help disadvanatged children. The fun "happy reading" sessions with the chidlren can provide welcome relief from the stresses of life and study so benefitting well-being.
For those looking to work with children after studies finish volunteering with ARCh provides useful experience and we are happy to provide references at the end of the year's commitment.