Engage struggling readers with a one-to-one reading programme

Young people who don’t enjoy reading don’t read. This results in poor literacy skills and impacts on their ability to engage with all areas of the curriculum. TextNow® is the only one-to-one reading programme for secondary school-age reluctant and struggling readers that is proven to rapidly improve reading skills. It motivates young people by giving them a choice of what they read.

What is TextNow®?

TextNow® is a 10-week, targeted intervention that motivates readers with tuition, rewards, and reading choice.

  • One-to-one reading sessions: structured, 20-minute sessions with a foster carer, five times a week for 10 weeks.
  • Incentive-based reading:  Readers are allocated £25 to spend on books of their own choice and then earn credits for each reading session to spend on thousands of books through our MyChoice! online bookstore.
  • Training for foster carers: training sessions to prepare carers for their role as reading coach.

How has TextNow changed the relationship between me and the girls? The weekly half hour book time (which usually ends up much longer!) has given the girls 1-1 time with me, (which i have always tried to give, but with 3 children it can be quite a balancing act) which they really value. They even squabble over who can read first, so it must be as enjoyable for them as it is for me.
Reading gains of 27 months

TextNow reading programmes are proven to:

  • Improve reading skills of underachieving young people.
  • Motivate young people to read through their own choice of reading material and an online rewards system
  • Quantify outcomes with a performance report that enables you to evidence how targeted funding has been used to good effect.
  • Raise attainment with improved reading and comprehension skills and increased confidence and self-esteem.

Boost chances of academic success

TextNow® motivates reluctant readers and enhances their chances of academic success. The programme provides structured, one-to-one reading sessions for 20 minutes, five times a week, for ten weeks. Sessions are delivered by the young people’s carers who act as reading coaches to stimulate the young person’s enjoyment of reading.

The experience of reading together not only increases the young person’s reading skills and their enjoyment of reading, but regular one-to-one sessions can also strengthen the relationship between the young person and their carer.

Reading coaches

TextNow® reading coaches simply have to be enthusiastic about reading and make the time to read with the young person for just 20 minutes a day, five days a week, for 10 weeks. As part of the programme, all coaches receive training from a Unitas specialist on how to carry out their roles.

NEW Digital app-based resource for Reading Coaches

In addition to face to face training we now offer additional training for TextNow Coaches in app format. This can be downloaded onto a tablet or smart phone and be completed on the go. 

Reading incentive scheme

The TextNow® programme includes an exciting awards scheme to incentivise reading. Every young person earns "rewards" for every 20-minute reading session they complete and can use them to order books, magazines, newspaper and poetry from Amazon through the MyChoice! scheme.

What were the most positive and challenging aspects of the programme: “Falling in love with reading, not being able to put the books down. The challenge was my YP not wanting to stop reading at bed time!”

Virtual Schools

Unitas provides a participating virtual school with:

  • A proven programme model
  • A session for foster carers which introduces them to their role as a reading coach
  • Access to comprehensive online resources to guide foster carers before and during the programme
  • Information, advice and guidance from the TextNow team throughout the programme
  • MyChoice! credits to the value of £25.00 for every participating young person
  • An interactive, engaging reward scheme to earn another £25.00 worth of MyChoice credits
  • Access to two exciting reading apps - Poetry in Motion and MyText
  • A performance report showing the progress made by young people and how their attitudes to reading have changed    

What's required

To run a successful TextNow programme, the virtual school simply needs to:

  • Identify appropriate young people and their reading coaches
  • Agree co-ordination arrangements for the TextNow programme
  • A minimum cohort of 10 students is required at a cost of £250 +VAT per student.  Not all students have to be enrolled together and a staggered start over the licence period of one year is normal


Our TextNow students have been really creative this year, have a look at what they have been up to!  View the gallery below to see some of their recent work. 


Watch one of our students perform some hilarious Whizz Popping Jokes!