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Education & Young People

Education And Young People

Our impact

Our projects with young people focus entirely on reading for pleasure. The informality of the weekly reading session helps to make reading enjoyable, building the confidence, self-esteem and reading ability of young people. Reading in schools, with looked after children, in the community and with trainee teachers, we are engaging with some of the hardest-to-reach young people in the country.

“I didn’t do reading before, but it’s fun and I love it now. Reading aloud is better than in your head. It’s like you’re on an adventure, you can understand more aloud.” Looked-after child reading in one-to-one session

The need

  • 16% of children do not achieve the expected levels of reading on leaving primary school [Literacy: State of the Nation, The National Literacy Trust]
  • On a world-wide scale, England has slipped from 3rd in the world in 2001 to 16th in 2006 [Progress in International Reading Literacy Study]
  • 14% of children and young people in lower income homes rarely or never read their books for pleasure [National Literacy Trust]
  • More than half of new teachers do not start the job equipped with good skills in the teaching of reading [National Literacy Trust/Ofsted]

Our aims

  • To develop a life-long love of reading for pleasure in children and young people
  • To engage vulnerable and hard to reach young people in society, developing confidence, self-esteem and relationships with peers through reading
  • To create a culture of shared reading amongst parents, carers and teachers

“K’s said to me how much he’s enjoying reading with you… he’s perked up loads in class” Teacher, Glasgow

Our outcomes

The benefits of shared reading for young people include:

  • Increased personal confidence
  • Improved health and well being
  • Love of reading
  • Greater social skills
  • Improved literacy
  • Stability and security

“I don’t know why people only normally read Shakespeare in high school!” – A year 4 group member reading Shakespeare for the first time, Egremont Primary School, Wirral

  • 81% are more understanding towards other people’s opinions [Glasgow]
  • 89% said reading made them more confident discussing their ideas and opinions [Liverpool]
  • 93% enjoy school more on the days that they have shared reading groups [Glasgow]
  • 98% said that they enjoyed shared reading sessions [Liverpool]
  • 100% look forward to their reading sessions [Wirral]
  • 100% of the looked-after children we read with one-to-one told us they enjoyed reading books they wouldn’t have chosen themselves, and that they enjoyed discussing their ideas and opinions.

“I’ve started reading at home, I used to get nervous reading aloud but I’m dead good at it now.” P, 11, Liverpool

Our delivery partners and funders

Liverpool: Fazakerley School; JP Getty Foundation (Liverpool Looked After Children Project); Liverpool Hope University

Wirral: Reading one-to-one with Looked-after Children, funded by JP Getty Foundation; Reader-in-Residence at Egremont Primary School; Reader-in-Residence at Greasby Primary School; Forum Housing (reading with 16-25 year olds, young mums and their babies and young people with vulnerable mental health)

Scotland: Glasgow Schools Project (funded by Trusthouse): St Mungo’s Academy, Sacred Heart Primary, St Anne’s Primary

What else?

Hope Readers

Commissioned by Liverpool Hope University, Hope Readers is a three-year Reader-in-Residence aiming to develop a culture of shared reading within an institution of higher education. Our reader-in-residence works within the Faculty of Education to inspire a new generation of teachers as readers to act as role-models for young people from the moment they enter their first classroom.  In addition to this work within the timetable, we have brought high profile speakers, like Danny Boyle and Frank Cottrell Boyce, to animate the campus with literary inspired events.

Our Liverpool Hope Reader-in-Residence Charlotte Weber wrote an article for 'English 4-11' (Summer 2013) describing the motivations behind the Hope Readers project and containing stories of students who are rediscovering and developing their own love of reading for pleasure. Read the article in full on The Reader Online.

Reader Stories: Hope Readers

Project Story: Shared reading in Glasgow 

W's Reader Story

P's Reader Story

How can I find out more?

To explore the ways in which you can work with us to inspire a love of reading in young people, contact Charlotte Weber, Reader-in-Residence at Liverpool Hope University.

To find out more about our schools projects, contact Patrick Fisher, Reader-in-Residence (Glasgow)

reader story


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The Reader Organisation The Friary Centre Bute Street Liverpool L5 3LA



Registered charity number: 1126806

If you have any suggestions on how we can enhance the Reader experience for you, please get in touch by filling out our quick form. Thank you.