A SCHEME designed to provide volunteer reading support to Darlington schools is expanding after proving popular.

Darlington Cares – a project that matches the skills and resources of local employers to opportunities where they can have a positive impact on the community – runs the Busy Readers scheme, which operates in four Darlington Primary schools.

As part of the scheme, 25 volunteers were trained by Darlington Cares in September last year and placed into schools to listen to children read for one hour a week.

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A new group of volunteers, including students from the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, will take part in a training session to join the scheme this week.

Paula Ayto, co-principal at Reid Street School, one of the participating schools, said: “The Busy Readers scheme has provided us with an important additional resource to help our children develop their reading skills. We really enjoy having the volunteers in the school.”

Peter King, head teacher of Corporation Road Primary School, another one of the participating schools, said: “It is brilliant for the children to get the additional reading practice through the volunteers as well as positive role models from the local business community.”

Additional schools and volunteers will be added to the scheme in April.

Anyone interested in finding out more about Busy Readers can contact Darlington Cares project manager, Katie Blundell on 01642-738970 or email k.blundell@tees.ac.uk .