Preact Volunteers Celebrate a Year of Reading Sessions to Boost Child Literacy

OK Tuto Mate Meeting

Throughout the 2021/2022 academic year, Preact volunteers partnered with the education charity Innovations for Learning, which runs the TutorMate programme to provide support to primary school children in the UK, who struggle with their reading skills. These sessions take place weekly during school hours, with some of our volunteers agreeing to take part in extra evening home sessions.

TutorMate facilitates online reading and comprehension sessions for children all across the country. For many of these children, the Covid-19 pandemic withheld them from the much-needed reading support they required; putting them on the back foot as they returned to school. These sessions provide the one-to-one focused assistance they need to improve skills, but also boost confidence.

According to a recent TutorMate update, during the 2021/2022 academic year, there were over 1,500 volunteers, who supported a record number 1,586 children! This looked like a massive 32,234 reading sessions (12,510 hours), during which volunteers would have played word games, built sentences and practised reading with their allocate reading buddy. Over the year, the children progress up different reading levels, reflecting the improvement they make!


To celebrate the end of the year, our volunteers were invited to visit their reading buddies at their primary school. Equipped with games, presents and snacks, our team headed over and had a lovely time finally meeting the children in person!

Preact End of Year Celebration

We caught up with some of the Preact volunteers to hear about their experiences…

"Taking part in the TutorMate scheme this year was a really rewarding experience and it was lovely to meet my little reading buddy in person and to hear from his teacher what a difference that half an hour a week made." – Mark Lloyd, Head of Data Services

“I have found the TutorMate experience so rewarding! Given the challenging circumstances of the pandemic, for the children, the extra time spent reading is game-changing. It’s the opportunity to practise such important skills and help with fluency, phonics and general reading confidence! It was certainly one of my favourite times of the week and seeing the improvement in my little chap was heart-warming (even if he did beat me at tic tac toe every week!). Just 30 minutes a week to help foster the love of reading and skills that will last a lifetime – what could be more rewarding than that!” – Leanne Mennie, HR Director

“It was such a very rewarding process and I found myself with a sense of pride every time my kid made a noticeable step forward with his reading. Having that weekly interaction really helps you build a connection with your reading buddy. Definitely recommend it to anyone thinking of taking part!” – Sean Lonergan, Service Delivery Manager

“Reading and playing literacy games with my TutorMate each week has been such a fun and rewarding experience I would recommend to anyone thinking of joining the scheme. It's amazing how just half an hour a week can have such a positive impact on their confidence as much as their reading ability, which have both increased significantly over the last year. I hope we can continue with this programme in the next academic year!” – Tilly Crowe, Projects Coordinator

“I've found it incredibly rewarding to be involved in these sessions and to hear the excellent progress my pupil has made during the year. Hopefully, in some small way, it's made a difference and helped put someone on the pathway to a lifelong love of reading.” – Warren Butler, Marketing Director

It’s fantastic to hear that our team found it such a positive experience and even greater to know we’ve made a difference in the lives of the children. Reading is such a vital skill that really carries through into anything they do in the future.

Thank you to all the Preact volunteers, and the amazing TutorMate scheme for making it possible!

Learn more about Innovations for Learning & the TutorMate scheme:

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Preact , Charities