The Reading Aloud Club (Germany)

If you enjoy reading and reading aloud to someone, love beautiful stories, enjoy dealing with children, would like to share this enthusiasm and pass it on, becoming a volunteer in the Reading-Aloud Club is the right thing for you.
The Stiftung Lesen Reading-Aloud Club brings all those together who would like to volunteer as honorary readers. The volunteers are trained by the foundation in seminars. With their help, more sessions in which books are read to children can be offered on a regional level so that even more children can get to know “adventure reading”. At the moment, about 10.000 volunteers offer reading aloud sessions. The sessions offered by volunteers should add to those sessions offered by full-time members of staff in nursery-schools, primary schools, libraries and hospitals.
Reading aloud is something everybody involved will enjoy!

Why do we need a project “Vorlesepaten” (“Reading-Aloud Volunteers”)?
Shelves full of picture books are useless if children are left to their own devices with them. This is happening more and more often because parents and educators do not find enough time to read to children. In order to pass on the joy of reading to children from a very young age, the Stiftung Lesen has developed the project “Reading-Aloud Volunteers”.
The foundation’s involvement comprises two parts: firstly, they want to win over interested women and men to become “Reading-Aloud Volunteers” and want to give them tips and advice on reading to children. Secondly, they want to win over multipliers, i.e. people who can develop a circle of “Reading-Aloud Volunteers” and can support the volunteers in their town or district.

What do we want to achieve?
The Reading-Aloud-Club mobilize civic engagement in the area of narration and reading. The honorary readers help foster kids’ early literacy skills and language development. The project is set in the context of the initiative “We read aloud – anywhere and anytime”, which has been set up by the Stiftung Lesen and the weekly journal DIE ZEIT. The target of this project is to create a network of volunteers who contribute immensely to the active language development of children and at the same time support contact between generations.

Who can volunteer to read aloud?
Do you love books and stories? Do you enjoy engaging with people? Do you want to pass on your enthusiasm for reading to children? Then you are exactly the right person to become involved in the Reading-Aloud Club. Your potential to read to others does not need to be left unexploited. There are lots of possibilities to pass on your enthusiasm for reading, for instance, in a nearby kindergarten, in the library or in a primary school.

Training of volunteers
In a one day seminar, the consultants of the Stiftung Lesen demonstrate that by reading to children, it is not difficult to fill them with enthusiasm about reading – and thus to contribute to the development of their imagination and language through play.
The training consists of exercising practical skills. Besides that, everybody who would like to read to children will learn how to choose suitable children’s books, create an atmosphere that is positive for reading and many more things that will turn reading to children into a special experience.
The seminar also provides volunteers with book fairs and brochures containing book suggestions. All participants will receive a certificate, a “Reading-Aloud Club” ID card and a pin that identifies the bearer is a “Reading-Aloud Volunteer”.

Membership of the “Reading-Alound Club”
The Stiftung Lesen welcomes everyone who actively reads aloud on a voluntary basis or would like to do so.
Members receive our latest reading suggestions for kindergartens, families and primary schools as well as information about our latest projects.

“We take part!” – opinions on the project
“I read a lot with my five year old daughter, especially before she goes to sleep. To me, reading to her is very important as a counterbalance to TV. Children should be introduced to books early and should be allowed to grow up with them. That way, they have the opportunity to develop their own creativity and imagination.” – Desiree Görg, 38 years, Mainz
“When I am reading to children, I am again and again fascinated by my audience. The children who just minutes ago were running around or playing with each other, sit there concentrating hard, totally gripped by the story and seem to have forgotten the world around them.” – Christiane Feifel-Rohrer, 40 years, Renningen
“I got highly motivated by the seminar of Stiftung Lesen to put into practice what I had learnt straight away. Not long after the seminar, I read aloud in a crèche for the first time. I look forward to it every week now. The children give me so much – and I can give them a lot in return, too.” – Hermann Vornhoff, 67 years, Frankfurt am Main
“In two morning sessions, I take the children on a trip around the world. Books are our travel guides and open us the doors to foreign worlds. The clever and critical questions the children come up with often surprise me.” – Sonja Wohllaib, 34 years, Bremen

This project is run by Stiftung Lesen (Germany).