We are unable to run our usual work while schools are closed. However we are currently providing support and activities virtually in various creative ways, and know that our work will be even more vital once schools reopen. There is no doubt that children in economically disadvantaged families will be receiving less input at home and therefore risk falling further behind during school closures. As this article (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/20/the-guardian-view-on-life-without-school-not-a-level-playing-field) in The Guardian says: 'School is a leveller. When they are there, pupils share the same spaces, lessons, menus and teachers. At home, children of well-off parents invariably live in bigger houses, are more likely to have their own bedrooms, two parents rather than one to support them, and better access to technology as well as books and other learning resources, and food.' That is all so upsetting to hear but especially those last two words ... 'and food' ... imagine how hard it is to learn and concentrate if you are feeling hungry. And we need to add to that the stress and anxiety caused by the huge change in routine for these vulnerable children. So building regular reading routines and encouraging a love of reading will be even more important once schools reopen as we try to help children catch up with the learning that has been unavoidably missed. We would be hugely grateful for your support to help us make that happen.
Learn to Love to Read is a small charity focusing on children's literacy.
Every child a reader
We want every child to be a reader and we make that happen by:
- running early literacy classes for toddlers;
- recruiting and training volunteers for our one-to-one reading programmes with year 1 and 2 children at risk of falling behind;
- equipping and encouraging parents and carers to engage with their children's reading at home.
Help all children have a cosy bedtime with our bedtime story kits
With the help of the Aviva community fund we will be able to buy 30 story kits: enough for each class we work with in our partner schools.
Your help will mean that every child we work with will have the chance to enjoy a story, a hot chocolate and a cuddle with a friendly teddy.
What difference will your help make?
27% of children left primary school in 2019 unable to read at the expected level and it is estimated that there are nine million working aged adults in England with low literacy or numeracy skills or both. (DfE 2019 and OECD 2016)
A third of businesses in the UK are not satisfied with young people’s literacy skills when they enter the workforce and a similar number have organised remedial training for their recruits to improve basic skills. (National Literacy Trust 2018)
At the age of three there is already a gap in language skills, measured using ‘months of development’, of almost a year and a half between children from the best-off and poorest families. (Read on Get on, 2014)
1 in 8 of the nation’s most disadvantaged children say they don’t have a book of their own at home yet children who own a book are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age and are four times less likely to read below the expected level. (National Literacy Trust, 2017)
Children learn to read when reading is fun and happens regularly at home and at school.
With our bedtime story kits the children we work with at our partner schools will be able to curl up at night with a good story, a hot chocolate and a teddy to cuddle.
And together we'll be beating child illiteracy.