13 January 2023

Celebrating the first term of Chapter One reading, and some ‘Meet and Greets’!

December 2022 to January 2023

The first reading celebrations of the school year are always a delight to behold as the autumn term comes to a close. The meetings, often face-to-face, really deepen the bonds that have already started to form during the online reading sessions.

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A highlight of the Chapter One year is the first reading celebrations we arrange with our partner schools in November and December as the first term of the school year draws to a close and the Christmas holiday celebrations are around the corner. For those volunteers and children who have been able to get started reading during the course of the term, it is a fantastic opportunity to put a name to a voice and deepen the bonds that they have already started to form. Where possible, the Meet and Greets are held at the schools in-person but the virtual versions via Zoom, facilitated by our programme managers, can be just as fun and powerful. The feedback from teachers from the first term is hugely positive too!

"Yesterday we had our first experience with reading online, and my heart melted. The excitement and joy the session brought to this child were breathtaking."

– , Marisa Etienne-Barnett, Deputy head teacher, Bruce Grove Primary School, Haringey

The fantastic events held include:

St Luke’s Primary, Islington and Hogan Lovells - One volunteer who couldn’t make it on the day sent a lovely note for her reading partner.

Drayton Park Primary, Islington and T. Rowe Price - The glue sticks and glitter were out at Drayton Park when reading volunteers from T. Rowe Price visited their pupils. The children loved making Christmas tree decorations with their reading partners - huge thanks to T. Rowe Price for providing all the craft materials!

"Thank you to all the people organising and coming to the event. The children absolutely enjoyed and had a great time. They were talking for days and expressing how much they enjoyed it."- teacher at Drayton Park Primary

Montem Primary School, Islington and Mishcon de Reya - this meet and greet was held over zoom, but it didn’t stop the excited children and volunteers from playing Simon Says together! Volunteer Angela McMahon brought her cat along to meet her child and one of the children enjoyed showing off the badge he had made!

Bangabandhu Primary School and Tideway and Samsara - The conversation bubbled around the room at this event!

“After nearly three months of virtual one-to-one reading sessions we were invited by the Innovations for Learning team and the school to come and meet the kids in person and do some reading together. It was great to meet such an enthusiastic group of readers. It's been one of my favourite volunteering opportunities and it's great that it runs through the whole school year so there's plenty more reading to come.” Natasha Rudat, head of engagement at Tideway

Classroom gifts from our corporate partners this autumn term

We are incredibly grateful to our corporate partners for their generous gifts to the children and the schools who are part of the Chapter One Online Reading Volunteer programme. This term the following donations have been made:

  • Tideway has donated gifts to the Year 2 classroom at Bangabandhu Primary School - notebooks and pens for all 30 children in the class and a £100 Amazon gift voucher for the school.
  • SUSE has donated funds to Southern Road Primary School for them to buy some books for the school
  • Minster Law has donated books to a class at Byron Primary School, Bradford
  • BCLP has donated some Jabra noise-cancelling headsets to Stratford Manor Primary School
  • Ocado Group has sent the children copies of their Ocado Chapter one story books to three classes at Torriano Primary School, Camden and one class at Byron Primary School, Bradford
  • Janus Henderson gave children in the whole school at Pakeman Primary, Islington, a backpack with school supplies for the start of the academic year
  • Smiths Group donated £160 of books for All Saints Primary School
  • T. Rowe Price provided craft materials for Christmas Tree Decorations to Drayton Park Primary School as well as books and T. Rowe Price teddies for the whole of Year 1
  • Sage sent books to Skeffington class at Sacred Heart Primary, Islington
  • ABN Amro have gifted books to students

"I believe the sessions are working brilliantly. It is a joy to listen into the enthusiasm and enjoyment for reading students are obtaining through these sessions."

- William Jenkins – Year 1 teacher, Southern Road Primary School, Newham