Volunteer Role Description: Volunteer Reading Tutor for Wizards of Words Reading Programme

Description of Project

Barnardos literacy programme Wizards of Words (WoW) aims to improve children’s literacy skills and help them become better, more confident readers. Each child is matched with a mature adult volunteer tutor 55+ who will provide one to one reading help 2 to 3 times a week. The trained volunteers will work with the child/children over an academic year, working with them on their literacy and helping to boost their confidence and self esteem. The programme is based in primary schools in Dublin and targets children whose reading level is behind their peers.

Outline of Volunteers Tasks and Responsibilities

  • To work with a child on a one to one basis helping them to improve their reading skills.
  • To encourage the child with reading and help to boost their confidence and self esteem.
  • Provide a positive mature adult role model.
  • Arrive at site 15 minutes before tutoring session.
  • Prepare materials for training session (full training will be given by Barnardos)
  • Follow the session plan.
  • Record how the session went.
  • Adhere to school and after school site rules and work within Barnardos Child Protection Policy.
  • Provide feedback on sessions to the Project Leader and/or teacher and report any concerns.

Training and Support Plan

  • Volunteers will receive ongoing support from Barnardos Project Leader.
  • Volunteers will be provided with training.
  • Monthly support and training sessions will be provided.

Time Commitment

You can choose to volunteer 2 or 3 times per week during the academic year.  There are no reading sessions carried out during school holidays.  We aim to provide sessions with the children 3 times per week. 

Sessions with the children last for 30 minutes each and we ask that you read with 2 children on each visit.  Therefore you will be in school for approximately 2 - 2½  hours per session.  The extra time allows for setting up for your session and basic recording of how the session went.  Also there may be an opportunity to get together with the other volunteers for tea/coffee before or after the sessions. 

Person Specification

  • NO formal qualifications are required.
  • Interested in reading and understand its value.
  • Good level of literacy.
  • Interested in working with children and ability to relate to children on their own level.
  • Maturity, patience, tolerance and tact.
  • Consistent and dependable
  • Understand and value diversity
  • Ability to work well as part of a team
  • Ideally experience of engaging with children.


  • Satisfaction of making a difference to a child and improving their chances in life!
  • Re-imbursement of expenses
  • Training and support
  • Attend social events and meet other adults and volunteers


The programme is currently running in 11 primary schools in Finglas:

  • St Brigids Senior School, Wellmount Avenue, Finglas, Dublin 11
  • St Brigids Infant School, Wellmount Avenue, Finglas West, Dublin 11
  • St Canice’s Girls School, Seamus Ennis Road, Finglas, Dublin 11
  • St Canice’s Boys National School, Glasanaon Road, Finglas, Dublin 11
  • St Oliver Plunkett National School, St Helena’s Drive, Finglas, Dublin 11
  • St Finians National School, Glenties Park, Rivermount, Finglas South, Dublin 11
  • St Fergals Boys National, Cappagh Road, Finglas West, Dublin 11
  • St Kevin’s Boys National School, Barry Avenue, Finglas North West, Dublin 11
  • St Joseph’s Girls National School, Barry Avenue, Finglas North West, Dublin 11
  • Mother of the Divine Grace Primary School, Ferndale Ave, Ballygall, Dublin 11
  • Gaelscoil Uí Earcáin, Glasanaon Road, Finglas East, Dublin 11

For more information or to register your interest please contact:

Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos Volunteer Service, tel: 01 708 0431 / 086 857 0112,

email: volunteers@barnardos.ie



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