Children In Need: Reading Rooms – Partner feedback: Kinship Care 2015 Please tell us about your reasons for referring young person/young people to Reading Rooms Project? One of Kinship Care’s Support Service young people is currently completing one to one reading sessions and we have also had a number of young people attend a summer session with the project, so we felt that one of our groups would benefit from meeting weekly to read stories or simply listen to a story being read to them. Our young people come from various chaotic and sometime difficult backgrounds, and it is quite usual for them not to have access to reading materials, no one with time to read to them and they themselves do not have the confidence to read. The partnership with the Reading Rooms Project was intended to start to tackle some of these issues. What impact has Reading Rooms had on this young person/young people? Initially we were aiming to help our young people grow their confidence with reading and listening. We also hoped the programme would filter into their schoolwork as a few of the group members were studying for their transfer test. We were hoping they would develop friendships, build their social skills and their wellbeing – all of which met and exceeded any initial expectations. Do you feel that Reading Rooms has increased this young person’s/young people’s ability to express themselves (in your group setting)? By the second last week and the final week, all the group members were reading aloud. I was aware of this as was the Reading Rooms facilitator, Rachel. The children were supportive of each other quite early on in terms of listening and encouraging each other when someone chose to read aloud. The young person’s tone and difficulty over some words was encouraged and not mocked by peers, which I found to be signs of empathy and strength within the group. Some of the children have developed friendships within the group and we discussed the possibility of the two of them continuing on in the new year as a smaller group. Has Reading Rooms increased this young person’s /young people’s interest in reading? The young people have all expressed an interest in books and reading but I observed was the chance to have the quite space to listen to a story, to be asked the questions throughout of ‘What do you think will happen next?’ and that their opinions were listened to- this is what made a difference. Any other comments/feedback? The children loved it. It made a huge difference to their confidence, self-esteem and their wellbeing as they now have a genuine interest in books and reading. I hope that they continue with their renewed love of stories, and I think the poems chosen were a nice touch to the sessions. The children especially enjoyed figuring out the link between the weekly story and poem. Rachel was fantastic, as was Sarah, and I look forward to continuing working with them again in the future.