Reading Partners - KPMG’s successful corporate social responsibility programme

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This article comes from the 2008 National Year of Reading's Help with Reading Volunteering Guide published by the 2008 National Year of Reading in October 2008.

KPMG has suppor ted primary aged children to improve their literacy skills and enjoy reading for over ten years through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reading Partners programme. Emma van de Molen, Programme co-ordinator, explains how Reading Partners works.

In 2007, over 200 KPMG people volunteered as Reading Partners, using the 3.5 hours a month of business time provided by the firm to volunteer in one of our link schools. 20 of our UK offices are linked to a primary school where KPMG volunteers visit weekly to read with the pupils, spending time one-to-one supporting their appreciation of literacy and ability to read.

The relationship between the office, school, and in some places, the Education Business Partnership (EBP), is co-ordinated by a member of staff who in turn is supported by KPMG’s national CSR team.

At the end of the year, the achievements made by the pupils and the commitment from the volunteers and teaching staff are recognised by a small celebratory event, often involving the donation of new reading materials to the school.

KPMG supports the aims of the 2008 National Year of Reading campaign, and has used the materials, themes and ideas to strengthen our Reading Partners programme. In addition, KPMG people have shared their passion for literacy within the firm through a monthly reader profile in our internal newsletter highlighting their favourite authors and books, why they support the 2008 National Year of Reading and why literacy is such an important skill.

KPMG support for 2008 National Year of Reading is sponsored by Ruth Anderson, Vice Chairman, who provides encouragement to office based coordinators and raises the profile of the initiative with her contacts. Ruth will also be taking part in Reading Partner sessions in one of our link schools.

This year we also have a National Year of Reading Working Group: Reading Partners who share their ideas and best practice with each other during monthly conference calls.

KPMG volunteers have arranged a variety of initiatives such as office Book Drops and Swaps, taking school children to their local library and establishing the school’s library links, donated book vouchers and organised reading fun days for the children.

The ongoing enthusiasm and dedication of KPMG’s Reading Partner volunteers is essential to the success of the firm’s ‘commitment to our communities’ and the 2008 National Year of Reading provides a good opportunity to promote and celebrate these efforts with our people, link schools and the wider community.

Every child a reader: KPMG's foundation

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