Get involved with children’s reading school

130614b  Kathy Bushell is looking to set up a voluntary Butterfly children's Saturday reading school.  Photo by Andrew Higgins 06/02/2013
130614b Kathy Bushell is looking to set up a voluntary Butterfly children's Saturday reading school. Photo by Andrew Higgins 06/02/2013

More male volunteers are needed to help set up and run a new reading school in Scarborough to help improve children’s reading abilities.

In a second meeting, taking place at Eastfield Library on Saturday at 10am, people can find out more about The Butterfly Saturday Reading School and how to get involved.

The scheme, set up by literacy charity Real Action, has been tried and tested in London, where a network of volunteers has helped youngsters from deprived communities learn to read.

So far 14 women have registered their interest in the Scarborough group, but organiser Kathy Bushell, of Ryedale, is asking for more men to come forward and support the cause.

She said: “This scheme helps kids of all levels and abilities make progress fast.

“We had a dozen people turn up to the first meeting which was a really encouraging start.

“We’re now looking for more men. A report from the Literacy Trust revealed that the reading gender gap is widening and action needs to be taken in homes, schools and communities, with recommendations including boys having weekly access to male reading role models.”

The Butterfly sessions are due to take place on Saturday mornings during term-time in Eastfield, initially for five to eight-year-olds.

People can simply turn up to the meeting on February 16, or confirm their attendance by calling Kathy on (01723) 850388.

Any companies that are able to assist with start-up capital are also encouraged to get in touch.

“You don’t need previous experience, just a willingness to follow a systematic approach, an encouraging attitude and a CRB check,” said Mrs Bushell. “If you think you might like to be involved as an assistant or a teacher, then this meeting is for you.”

She added: “I have always found it very exciting when a child starts to believe they can learn to read and start to make progress.

“A huge part of my motivation is that I was a slow reader and I can vividly remember the panic I used to feel when the flashcards came out.

“I could easily have given up on trying to read. My mum was sure I would get there in the end and eventually managed to persuade me it was worth keeping on. It’s that sort of safety net that I would like to try to give children in Eastfield.”

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like more information, please email Kathy at broadheadfarm@hotmail.co.uk