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Lloyds insures kids’ reading partners are a hit—20 years on

PUBLISHED: 19:46 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:20 05 October 2010

Rachel... helped by reading scheme when she was young

Rachel... helped by reading scheme when she was young

A NATIONWIDE reading scheme for children that started life in a secondary school in London’s East End is marking its 20th anniversary at Lloyd’s of London—which came up with the idea in the first place. The reading partners’ scheme has volunteers from business spending time in schools helping children improve their reading and comprehension

By Mike Brooke

A NATIONWIDE reading scheme for children that started life in a secondary school in London’s East End is marking its 20th anniversary at Lloyd’s of London—which came up with the idea in the first place.

The reading partners’ scheme involves volunteers from the world of business spending half-an-hour a week in schools helping children improve their skills in reading, conversation and comprehension.

The idea was originally conceived by insurance brokers at Lloyd’s HQ in The City in 1989, following a plea from Daneford School, now Bethnal Green Technology College, to help pupils with their literacy.

It was then introduced n the 1990s to primary schools and other secondary schools in Tower Hamlets.

MENTOR

One pupil helped with her reading lessons in the early days at St Anne’s Primary in Whitechapel was Rachel Roberts, who was mentored by reading partner’ Robin Anderson.

A decade later, Rachel, now 17 (pictured), needed a work placement as part of her legal secretarial course and got in touch with Robin again—she was offered a six-month placement with Lloyd’s.

“I’m enjoying my work experience,” she says. “I’m learning new skills which will help my career.”

The Lloyd’s scheme now has 1,400 business volunteers involved at 66 Tower Hamlets primary schools and 150 volunteers at 11 secondary schools.

But the idea has also caught on in schools up and down the country, where the partner’ concept is now used for many subjects apart from reading, including science and maths.


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