About Me & My Business
Once upon a time...I was an English Teacher. I came to education late, completing a degree in Literature with the Open University when I had two small children. It was also during the most difficult time of my life but it was life changing and I don't know where I would be now if I hadn't done it. Books and education saved me.
For the last three years of my degree (it took me five), I worked at a local high school as a teaching assistant which I loved. You can not begin to imagine how difficult the lives were of some of those students. School really was their last concern but I believe I made a difference to many of them.
By the time I finished my degree, I was a single parent and dealing with the attitudes that brings. However, I succeeded in getting a place at my local university to train as a teacher and did very well, qualifying with excellent reports and a distinction in my research project on what English teachers could do to narrow the gap between poorer students and their peers. My placement school immediately acted on my research findings.
I am passionate about reading and the impact it can have of people's lives. At the start of my teaching career, I thought I would be able to share this with my students but the reality was different. Over time, I became worn down by the relentless stride to meet marking criteria and hit ever increasing targets, to teach students that you must write your response this way to gain the most marks and with the arrival of the new 100% exam based GCSE it only seemed to be getting worse. For me, there was little opportunity or space to foster a love of reading, to share its benefits or even to read an entire book let alone enjoy it. Maybe I just wasn't suited to teaching but the pressure got to me and the end result was my mental health suffering. Incidentally, books have saved me from that too.
From these ashes, rose Literature Delights. I wanted to share my love and enjoyment of literature and all the benefits it has; after all, this was why I loved every second of my degree in the subject and why I had entered teaching! I summoned up the bravery, strengh, determination and commitment and started my own business which focusses on sharing the joy, excitement and benefits of literature. I have made a great start and run classes with interactive story times and activities that bring the book to life for preschool age children. The children love them! One parent recently commented on how amazing the class before Christmas was with her children talking incessently about it over the holidays. I am also beginning a one day writing course which will bring women together in support and friendship as well as inspiring creative writing.
Why then, do I need your help?
For a couple of reasons!
- I have begun receiving quite a few queries from parents asking about classes for younger children. Having now designed these, I need help to purchase the equipment required and to pay for the hire of halls which require payment up front. I have put all the money I had into starting my other classes and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. I now have a much clearer idea of where money should be spent and where it should not! I desparately want to grab the opportunity to show younger children that books are a world of excitement. I just can't afford to do it on my own. I'm in the tricky position of not having enough classes currently running to make a living and therefore can't start anymore. You could help me ensure more children are excited about reading.
- Have you ever had that nagging voice in your head? I am a socially aware person and believe strongly in "paying it forward" and supporting those less fortunate. Studies and research have shown that reading for pleasure is more influential in a child's academic success than their socio-economic class. I have seen first hand the impact of a child's socio-economic class. It is so important that they are able to access my classes so they have a great chance to achieve success. The voice in my head constantly reminds me that I am not currently achieving this as their families are unable to afford the classes and at present I can't afford to offer them a free place. You could change this! If my fundraiser is successful, I will be able to "pay it forward" and offer free places to children who really need it, reversing the negative impact of their socio-economic class. A child's success and literacy level should not be determined by their family's wealth. Help me to offer these children fun ways to enjoy reading and to be able to reach their full potential.
Why choose me and my business to help?
We all have causes that are close to our hearts and rightly so. These are normally determined by our own personal experiences and a need to do something to help.
I could ask you on behalf of the children I wish to help to imagine: what it would be like to not grow up with books around you; to have grown up within a family that is fighting for survival and books and playing games just don't get a chance to feature; to imagine that you would not have achieved academic success simply because your family were financially restricted; to imagine being denied the opportunity to discover the many benefits of reading for pleasure including the positive impact on your mental health.
I could ask you to imagine on behalf of myself, whether you would be able to: pick youself up time and again after repeatedly having your confidence destroyed; whether in these circumstances, you would be desperate to help others; whether having been struck with a debilitating mental health issue, you could continue fighting to be successful and help others to be too; whether after being treated appalling by a partner you could find the strength to go it alone, build a career, start a business and still believe in the inherent goodness of people.
Or, you could consider the following:
- Yes, I need to make a profit to be able to support my family BUT I will do this whilst helping as many others as I can.
- With the changes introduced by the current government, we are in danger of losing the enjoyment of reading and writing. My classes offer an alternative.
- I strongly believe in "paying it forward" and therefore any donation you make will go so much further, with it being continued on to another cause.
- I am passionate about what I do and therefore completely committed. Rather than thinking things will be too difficult, I consider how to deal with it which means my business will be successful and will help others.
- Children deserve to be shown how exciting books can be and to benefit from reading for pleasure.
- Academic success should not be down to how rich your family is.
- This help will really get the business going. Not only when more people benefit from the classes on offer but it will allow me to support my family and help others in need.
- With the business up and running I will be able to continue expanding it without the need for financial support and in time this will provide jobs for others.
As I said, books have saved me and it would be fantastic to share with others the greatness and the gifts of literature.