Study shows that those 55+ make the most confident readers

Study shows that those 55+ make the most confident readers

New research released today by children’s literacy charity Beanstalk shows:

  • That older adults are far more confident readers than younger adults
  • Despite this, nearly a quarter still say that learning to read was a difficult and frustrating time for them, and they would have benefitted from one-to-one support.

The research commissioned by Beanstalk shows that nearly three quarters of adults aged 55+ feel confident when it comes to reading, this is in stark contrast to just 59% of 16-24 year olds who feel confident with the reading. Furthermore, just 27% of adults aged 55+ believe that they would have benefited from further one-to-one support when they were learning to read as a child, which is dramatically lower than 53% of adults aged 16-24.

Ginny Lunn, Beanstalk’s CEO, says:

  • “Our research shows that older adults are the nation’s most confident readers, and are therefore the perfect people to help improve the reading of young children.
  • At Beanstalk, we know the difference consistent one-to-one support can make to help build a child’s confidence in their reading. Our trained reading helpers provide vital one-to-one support to over 10,000 primary school children across the country every week.
  • That’s why this Volunteers’ Week, we’re asking for older adults to help share their reading confidence by signing up as Beanstalk reading helper so that we can ensure more children grow up feeling confident about their reading skills.”

Beanstalk is a national charity that recruits, trains and supports volunteers to provide one-to-one literacy support to children who struggle with their reading ability and confidence. Beanstalk’s reading helpers each work with – on average – three children, seeing each child for two 30 minutes sessions a week, during term-time, for three whole terms. Together they read, play and talk, helping make reading fun and to build the child’s confidence.

To sign up as a Beanstalk trained reading helper this Volunteers’ Week, visit or call 020 7729 4087.