Schoolchildren to get reading help from housing association volunteers

-Pupils from Edith Cavell Lower School with headteacher Heather Cooke.
-Pupils from Edith Cavell Lower School with headteacher Heather Cooke.

Youngsters are getting extra help with their reading from volunteers.

Housing association bpha has volunteered 12 of its staff to give 100 hours of reading support to pupils at Edith Cavell Lower School over the next 12 months.

It coincides with the Bedford school’s commemoration of the death of Edith Cavell, a pioneering nurse who was executed by the German army on October 12, 1915 for helping more than 200 allied soldiers escape occupied Belgium.

Headteacher Heather Cooke said: “This is a special year for the school as we remember 100 years since the war heroine, Edith Cavell, died and celebrate our 40th birthday.

“We are delighted to be doing something positive to mark it – our pupils are really enjoying the donated books, and they are looking forward to their first reading session with the bpha volunteers.”

The reading project is just one of a number of projects organised by bpha to put something back into the community and to mark the organisation’s 25th anniversary.

Community manager for bpha Nicky Dahl said: “Reading is such a vital skill for learning, and I hope this project will help the school with the great work they already do with the children. It was heart-warming to see how excited the children were about their new books and our volunteers are really looking forward to reading with them.”

Pupils have already written thank you letters to the housing association. One said: “Thank you for visiting our school and for the many fabulous books. We enjoy reading ever so much and we are over the moon because of the books. We even have ‘Drop Everything And Read’ time to give us time to read individually and quietly.”