Andrew Edwards to host our Charity Ball/20 years of Reading Matters/Conference speaker profile

31 Jan Andrew Edwards to host our Charity Ball/20 years of Reading Matters/Conference speaker profile

Andrew Edwards to host our ’20th Anniversary’ Charity Ball

We are thrilled that Andrew Edwards of BBC Radio Leeds will be the compere at our ’20th Anniversary’ Charity Ball on Saturday the 11th of March at The Midland Hotel in Bradford. Andrew, who presents ‘The Big Yorkshire Phone In’ weekdays on BBC Radio Leeds is himself an avid reader who strongly believes in Reading Matters‘ mission, to help young people reach their potential by becoming confident, enthusiastic readers.

The Charity Ball, our main annual fundraising event, is being held in the magnificent Princes Ballroom at The Midland Hotel and will commence at 6.30pm with a drinks reception, followed by a three course meal. There will be an envelope draw and silent and live auctions to raise money for Reading Matters and a DJ will be playing music to swing your stuff to till late.

Barclays Bank will be supporting us with match funding, so all money raised on the night will be generously doubled by them.

Prizes on offer include a week in an apartment in Umbria, Italy, a vineyard tour and wine tasting experience at Holmfirth Vineyard, a presentation skills tutorial with the President of the Professional Speaking Association and an ‘at home’ photographic sitting with a professional photographer worth £250.

Tickets for the ball cost £40 each and tables can be reserved for groups of eight or more. The Midland Hotel is offering a preferential rate to our guests for a standard single or double room with breakfast of £55 for the night. Please book directly with the hotel quoting REA110317.

We do hope that you’ll be able to join us for this very special event.
Book your tickets here!

20 years of improving life chances for children

2017 marks twenty years since Reading Matters was originally founded in Leeds, West Yorkshire, by Sarah Willis. Sarah had been a volunteer supporting children with reading in primary schools and recognised the need for a similar scheme to help older children in secondary education to catch up quickly with reading.

We began our life as a charity managing only a handful of volunteer Reading Mentors in local schools, however, by 2002 and responding to demand, that number had risen steeply to 1,500 adult volunteers in schools across the county.

Over the years, through close consultation with schools about what they needed, Reading Matters has developed the comprehensive range of services it currently offers; providing training for peer mentors, education staff and parents and carers as well as training and managing volunteer Reading Mentors.

Since 2008 we have proudly supported around 34,000 children and young people to read well, reaching the highest number ever during the 2015/2016 academic year with 6,805 benefitting from our intervention and showing an average improvement in reading age by 13 months after only 10 hours of support.

We are currently running a special ’20th birthday’ offer on all Reading Leaders courses booked this term, see here for full details.

Spotlight on a speaker

We are delighted that Rachel Van Riel, Director of Opening the Book will be one of the keynote speakers at our ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ conference at Bradford City Football Club on June 29th 2017.

Opening the Book, is a creative company which works across school, public and college libraries in consultancy, training and library design. They have designed and installed over 100 school libraries in the UK alone and have a unique understanding of how to entice readers and encourage reading for pleasure through library design. Rachel has also worked extensively abroad as a consultant to library services in Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and Australia.  Opening the Book provides training for library and teaching staff in promoting reading for pleasure – their online courses have been taken by 12,000 staff in three continents.

Rachel’s conference speech is entitled ‘Making space for reading: how to improve your physical environment to increase reader engagement’. She will explain that in order to encourage reading for pleasure, we need to create a library ambience that is attractive to children and make them want to pick up a book!  Rachel will share lots of quick tips to make your library space appealing and get books off the shelves and into the hands of readers.

Tickets for our conference are still available at the early bird rate of £85 until the 31.03.17 and at £100 thereafter. Don’t miss out! Book your place today.

Happy reading!

From all the team at Reading Matters

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