Soldiers from local units are on a mission to support young readers and inspire them to become avid book lovers at The Wellington Academy in Tidworth, Wiltshire.

They visit the school once a week to listen to students read and ask them questions to test their knowledge. Each soldier mentors the same child for a year.

Becki Lyons, the school’s Director of English, says: “Reading is a skill which is fundamental to all subjects across the school, but we know that as a result of COVID-19, reading skills, particularly in boys, have been affected.

“The majority of our students come from military families and so by bringing in role models from our local units we hope to inspire them to read more.

“The soldiers will come in each week to listen to the pupils read, which should in turn help raise their achievement across all of their subjects as well as show them the value in escaping in a good book.”

Major Geordie Chisholm, RLC said that fluency in reading is not only a crucial skill for individuals, but is also a lynchpin of successful societies and economies. He says: “Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed, and it’s important to invest in their education for the future, whether you are a parent or not. I’m delighted that we are able to support the students in a very practical way.”

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