Children and Young People

Shared Reading – engage, inspire, explore

“Reading for pleasure is the single most important thing that will make a child successful in life.”

UNESCO

We believe that reading and talking together about books is the best way to get children into reading for pleasure.

Our unique Shared Reading model brings people together in small groups, a story or poem is read aloud and a trained Reader Leader facilitates discussion.

Reading aloud, lively conversation and an open, interactive atmosphere are cornerstones of our work. For over a decade, we’ve been delivering Shared Reading with children of all ages in a variety of settings across the UK.

I wish I could read with Jess forever ‘til one million or a billion or a gazillion infinity number… I feel so happy when I read with Jess because then it makes me take all the bad memories and think about the good ones.

Daisy, aged 10

Whether delivered by volunteers, parents, teachers or Reader staff, Shared Reading supports the development of core skills, helps children to feel more confident about reading, creates a sense of achievement and contributes towards improved well-being.

Find out more about Shared Reading projects with Children and Young People:


Shared Reading in Early Years

This project, running between January and September 2015, delivered 910 Shared Reading groups across 36 settings for parents, carers and their two-year olds.

The Reader also trained nearly 100 parents and nursery staff in Shared Reading techniques, how to read interactively with children, communicate excitement and use positive reinforcement to boost language development.

“This course is unique in that it doesn’t just focus on helping children develop, it makes Shared Reading fun and enjoyable – for adults as well as children.

Professor Caroline Rowland, University of Liverpool

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Shared Reading with Families

Off The Page – April 2015 – July 2016

In just six months, this pioneering project engaged 70 vulnerable children and teenagers and trained 88 volunteers to run engaging, one-to-one sessions with families across Liverpool, some of whom face multiple challenges.

By encouraging both children and the adults in their lives to read for pleasure this project made significant impacts and supported long-term change.

“You’re dead relaxed and you’re just like, you’re taking calmness from it. You take that to outer life, like with what you do outside school and home. It’s just helped me be more calmer.

Off The Page beneficiary, Liverpool

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Shared Reading with Parents

In October 2015, The Sutton Trust and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation commissioned The Reader to develop an innovative programme engaging parents of three and four year olds in deprived areas of Sefton – building skills and parental confidence in reading to their own children using an interactive, fun model.

In the first six months of the project 87 families were engaged.

Building on this success, we have also been commissioned by the United St. Saviour’s Charity to bring a similar project to London.

“I now spend more time sharing stories with my child.”

Beneficiary, Sefton

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Shared Reading in Schools

Reading Revolutionaries

Our Reading Revolutionaries programme trains and empowers older pupils to become reading mentors in primary and secondary schools. In 2015-16, 326 pupils from 33 schools participated.

Reading Revolutionaries develops leadership and interpersonal skills in mentors and confidence and self-esteem in mentees.

In parallel, teacher training ensures the practice is embedded in the school environment for the long-term.

“Reading Revolutionaries has made a significant and dynamic contribution to helping children support one another to become leaders of reading in their own community.

Jill Wright, Deputy Headteacher, Whitefields Primary School

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The Storybarn

In 2016, The Reader opened The Storybarn, the North West’s first interactive story-telling centre for young children and their families, offering a unique setting where Shared Reading can take place.

Schools and nurseries can book The Storybarn for exclusive mid- week sessions targeting key National Curriculum links.

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