Posted: 4th September 2017

Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Southport, Ormskirk and Bootle Groups, Robert Wright, had the privilege to visit Christ Church C of E School, located in Bootle, Liverpool, to present on behalf of the MCF a certificate for the grant of £31,000 to the educational charity, Beanstalk. The grant will help support nearly 100 children with reading difficulties, across the Sefton and Greater Manchester areas, by offering children one-to-one literacy support.

Beanstalk is a national charity, started by Susan Belgrave in 1973, after Susan had seen a similar volunteering scheme in a Harlem school in New York and being impressed with the results she set up a scheme in schools in the North Kensington area of West London. With the charity recruiting, training and supporting their volunteers to work with children in primary schools with reading difficulties, who have often fallen behind; to help improve their reading ability and confidence.

Every trained reading helper works with three children to provide support on a weekly basis during the school year, where together they read, talk and play educational games, with the outcome being that the child’s approach to reading and learning has often been transformed.

During the visit to Christ Church School, Robert met and talked with the Beanstalk’s Recruitment Executive Lorna Towner, three of the volunteer reading helpers working at the school, who were accompanied with three of the children they were supporting and their teachers. Robert was informed about the vital support that the Beanstalk volunteers are providing to the children who are struggling with their reading, the approach and structure of the session, which is individual for each child they are supporting while working with the teachers at the school.

The visit included a chance for Robert to speak to the children being helped by the Beanstalk’s volunteers. Talking to the children Robert was able to find out from their prospective on what happens during the session, what books they are currently reading, and the type of books they like and how much they enjoy reading. Robert was informed by the helpers that they will choose the books to be read taking in account the individual interests of the child and the type of stories they prefer.

Robert said on behalf of the MCF:

We are very pleased to be able to support Beanstalk’s excellent work in schools. If these children are not able to read and write properly they will fail to get much out of their education and their whole future will be put at risk.