We want every child to read
AdobeStock_7800587 boy reading.jpeg


We want every child to read

The literacy challenge today

About 200,000 children leave primary school in England each year unable to read to the expected standard. These children struggle for the rest of their education and beyond, which has a devastating impact on their life chances.

This must change and at Bookmark, we want to make the biggest difference we can, for as many children as possible.



Our mission

We are a new charity with a mission to mobilise a community of volunteers to provide dedicated reading support to children who need it most.

Our innovative technology, which will match schools with volunteers, is our vehicle for social change. We want schools and volunteers to benefit from the same speed, convenience and choice that sharing platforms give them in other aspects of day-to-day life; whether that is ordering food, booking a taxi or planning their next holiday. Bookmark's platform will give schools easy access to vetted and trained reading volunteers in their area, at the click of a button. Our volunteers will be able to do their training, schedule reading programmes and chat with other Bookmark volunteers - all online, on their mobiles. 

Our technology is so important to us. It is our driving force to get more volunteers into schools, to deliver our reading programmes. 

Through the Bookmark programmes, we will give children the time to engage in additional shared reading with fully safeguarded and vetted volunteers. By providing children with more and varied conversation and reading, we will both encourage reading for pleasure and support their vocabulary development. The importance of these two outcomes cannot be underestimated, not only in a child's education and future career, but also their engagement with and understanding of the communities and world that they live in.

Following a small pilot in Camden this year, we will roll out nationally in 2019, on a community by community basis.



Why we're different


We will:

  • use innovative matching technology
  • deliver flexible modular reading programmes
  • create a unique learning environment for volunteers
  • engage communities through meaningful reward and recognition 

I found it easier to hide my illiteracy than to ask for help
— James, 39 • London