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Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is celebrating four years of supporting communities across Hull and East Yorkshire through the ‘Ready Steady Read’ initiative.

Firefighters and engine with school children for Ready steady read

Ready Steady Read was set up in 2016 and aims to increase levels of literacy across Hull and East Yorkshire. Research shows that children who can read well by the age of 11, discover a wider range of interests and knowledge, creativity, and confidence.

The scheme helps children to develop the essential literacy skills, confidence and love for reading. The aims of working together is to support the local community and to reduce the likelihood of children setting fires in the future, by engaging with firefighters before attending secondary school.

Joanne Walker, Founder and Trustee of Ready Steady Read said: "We are so grateful for our partnership with Humberside Fire, which began in September 2019 with the Blue Watch volunteering at Wansbeck Primary and providing one to one support for our young readers.

"HFRS and Humber Aid sponsored our Spring Term Reader of the Week Scheme from January to March this year, helping to provide 192 reading prizes across 16 Hull Primary Schools. Our Summer Term Reader of the Week scheme was sponsored by HFRS and J Tomlinson with 160 young readers across the 16 schools receiving prizes.

"We look forward to the Blue Watch returning to Wansbeck Primary school this term and I know that the children are very excited that they will be back!"

Steph Smith, Prevention Manager at Humberside Fire and Rescue Service said: "Over the course of four years, it has been a privilege for us to provide support to Ready Steady Read and local schools. Our dedicated firefighters engage in reading sessions with the children during term time and they are looking forward to continuing it now that school has begun.

“Helping to create positive role models, our firefighters are part of other educational and fitness activities, where they can also share life saving fire safety information within our community."

Staff at Wansbeck Primary School, in Hull said: “Ready Steady Read has been very beneficial for all the children in our classes as they are all motivated to read with a firefighter.

“This has developed both the children’s love for reading as well as their reading fluency. Having the extra opportunity to read with not only an adult, but a firefighter, has been great for all the children."

Could you volunteer to help inspire a love of books in children across Hull and East Yorkshire? Find out more here: