Reading Together is a programme that supports the development of literacy skills for looked-after children aged 7-10 years, by providing one-on-one reading support by a Queen’s student on a weekly basis. The aim of the programme is to foster a love and interest in reading and raise attainment levels in general literacy. Reading Together provides a bonding opportunity with a University student who acts as a positive role model for higher education, exposing the children to the wider possibilities of future goals. Providing support with homework and encouraging engagement in other activities designed to aid reading, imagination and literacy skills can open up a whole new world for children to enjoy.
“The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity” – Neil Gaiman
Working in Partnership
A vital aspect of the programme is the use of multi-disciplinary team members. The Widening Participation Unit works in partnership with the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and Foster Care Associates with support from the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s to design and deliver all aspects of the programme. Together, Reading Together delivers one-to-one reading to support looked after children by current Queen's University Belfast students. These individuals study a wide range of disciplines, from Clinical Anatomy to Maths.
Every individual and institution involved in the programme has demonstrated that commitment and partnership working is beneficial for outcomes. Importantly, it provides a very strong message for children who are looked after, that there is a network of people who genuinely care, who are looking out for them, and who are working together to help improve their educational outcomes and futures.
For more information about Reading Together, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 028 9097 5020.
"I love reading now... Love it... I want to see what happens at the end of the story"
- Reading Together Mentee
A QUB Student? Get Involved and Make a Difference!
A vital part of Reading Together is its Mentors, through commitment, empathy, and enthusiasm, they build bonds with their mentees to foster a love of reading.
We will be recruiting in December 2022 for the 2022-2023 programme. If you would to support a child on a one to one basis and are looking for paid experience working with children please email email@example.com.
All recruited mentors will be required to take part in 2 day training programme
What qualities do our Mentors need?
- Must be a current student at Queen's University Belfast
- Must be able to commit to an hour a week over the academic year, plus account for prep time (and travel time, if in person delivery is possible)
- Will be expected to attend monthly support meetings
- Attend events run by the programme, e.g. Reading Together Graduation Ceremony
- A commitment to the aims and ethos of Reading Together
- Be willing to undertake training and Access NI
- A genuine desire to work with looked after children
- Committed and reliable
"... think of yourself as the most valuable thing that you bring to the programme." Rachel
Reading Together Mentor studying Medicine