Hackney ,

Young volunteers needed to help spread the love of reading

Shaeyan Jarvis-Robinson and Saraya Osinnowo.jpg

Young people wanted to spread the love of libraries and reading to younger children.

Hackney Council wants young people aged 12 to 19 to sign up and become volunteer Hackney Reading Activists. The volunteers work alongside Hackney Council's librarians to organise creative reading and writing events while gaining new skills like communication, leadership, and experience in working with others. The young people also get accreditation towards volunteering.

This summer, over 60 young people signed up to be a Hackney Reading Activists; almost twice as many as last year, showing what a valuable opportunity volunteering in libraries can be. The volunteers worked with younger children aged four to 12 who were taking part in the Summer Reading Challenge.

The volunteers showed great commitment and enthusiasm in helping librarians to deliver the summer reading challenge and summer activities. Many volunteers had taken part in the challenge themselves and understood what an important and exciting an opportunity it is.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
Volunteering is very rewarding and a great way for young people to learn vocational and life skills while giving something back to their local community. We all know that there is so much competition to get into colleges and employment. That is why volunteering is such a great way for young people to get some of the experience and skills they will need for the future. I’d encourage young people to contact their local library and get involved.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

Alice De-Abaitua a volunteer for two years said: "I think being a Reading Activist has been a really enjoyable experience and I will definitely be joining next year."

The Reading Challenge encourages children age four to 12 to read six or more library books over the summer. The aim of the challenge is to excite children about libraries and to cultivate an enjoyment of reading. More than 800 children joined the challenge and many more participated in the summer activities.

A celebration of the young volunteers contributions took place Friday 12 September at Dalston CLR James Library.

The Hackney Reading Activists attend monthly meetings at Dalston CLR James, Clapton and Hackney Central Libraries. Young people interested in getting involved should contact their local library or; monica.sever@hackney.gov.uk