Reading Together Programme

Connecting Queen's students with Looked After Children

Reading Together is a programme that supports the development of the literacy skills of looked-after children aged 7-10 years of age, by providing one-on-one support by a QUB student on a weekly basis. The aim of the programme is foster a love of reading in these children, and raise attainment levels in literacy. Building on from the successful pilot in 2017-2018, Reading Together provides a bonding opportunity with a university student, who acts as positive role model for higher education, exposing the children to a wider possibilities of future goals. Providing support with homework and encourage engagement in other activities designed to aid reading, imagination and literacy skills, can open up a whole new world for our 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 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 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 have just recruited for mentors for the 2019-2020 programme, but if you would to support a child on a one to one basis and are looking for paid experience working with children please contact or phone 028 9097 1567. 

Upcoming Training Dates: 

Our Reading Together Mentors will be undertaking training on the following dates:

  • Friday 6th December 2019, 9:30am - 12noon (Peter Froggatt Centre/02/025) 
  • Wednesday 8th January 2020, 9:30am - 3pm (Peter Froggatt Centre/02/011) 
  • Friday 10th January 2020, 9:30am - 3pm (Peter Froggatt Centre/02/011) 

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 travel time 
  • Will be expected to attend monthly 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 


PHOTO: Rachel
"... think of yourself as the most valuable thing that you bring to the programme." Rachel
Reading Together Mentor studying Medicine