A boy born in Stockton Town Centre (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country) has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy born in North Oxford (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges)
A girl born in Queensgate, Burnley (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country), has a life expectancy 20.9 years shorter than a girl born in Mayfield, Wealdon (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges)
No this is not Dickensian England of old but today.
Did you also know that 1 in 8 disadvantaged children in the UK say that they don’t have a book of their own.
When I read this it hit home so hard that I decide to do something about it.
As a budding author it really hurts me to read that something that is so fundamental to social mobility is out of the reach of those who need it most. What’s worse is that it is not a complicated bit or expensive bit of kit, it is a book, and one that you can call your own.
What’s the plan? Well it is fairly simple, raise enough money to give as many children (hopefully 2500 copies in time for Christmas 2020) a free copy of The First Letters of Christmas. Target area’s with the most serious literacy challenges and distribute via schools and literacy groups.
Please help me get a book into the hands of the children who need them most.
Why my book?
Well because it’s mine I do not have to pay anyone for the rights to publish and give it away.
More intrinsic to the literacy challenge The First Letters of Christmas not only encourages children to read but also has 14 carbon letter template pages where children can write or draw their precious letters to Santa Claus whilst leaving a copy of that letter held back in the book. Over the years it can create a wonderful keepsake and a book that each child can positively call their own.
The book comes with its own Hessian Santa Sack to keep it safe over the years and has been designed not to be thrown away after one or two years but to be treasured and loved for as long as possible.
Did you also know
Children who enjoy reading and writing are happier with their lives
Younger children enjoy writing almost twice as much as their older peers
In our digital world it can be easy to lose sight of how beautiful the written word is. In my book each letter template can bear witness to the path each child takes as their letter writing skills develop over each year, a mark cast in their book to review as they grow. It is precisely this kind of encouragement and visual record of their achievement that I believe will inspire more children to read and write more. They all have a WRITE TO READ.
The First Letters of Christmas re-tells the wonderful festive story of Santa Claus receiving letters before his big night delivering all of the presents but what I am really proud of is that his cast of elves are multicultural something that reflects our moderns day societies across the world and not just in England. One point that came straight from my family back round was the huge and underrated role that Mrs. Claus (mums) plays each year in making Christmas special.
We hear so much about Santa Claus but in my house the real trooper was my mum, who started soaking the fruit for the Christmas Cake months in advance, she was the one who was awake at the crack of dawn putting the turkey in the oven, dressing the tree the list goes on and on and I had to ensure that this role was clearly celebrated in The First Letters of Christmas. In my book Mrs Claus is a beautiful woman who make sure everything goes to plan, just as my mum use to do.
Another powerful overarching message thought out the book is what the power of believing in yourself can actually do. In the First Letters of Christmas Santa’s Sleigh can’t fly until he receives enough letters from children who believe in him and likewise the final message in the book is the greatest gift Santa ever gives is not the toys but the power to believe in yourself. I have to say I whole heartedly believe in this. It is our duty to install belief in all of the next generation.
Book to call their Own
Please help and try and reduce this 1 in 8 statistic presented to you above, if I can hit my target I aim to get a copy of the book into as many children’s hands as possible.
I am hoping that together we can inspire as many children as possible to learn how to enjoy and love both reading and writing which I am convinced will be self-perpetuating as these children will pass this onto their children as well as may other children.
The First Letter of many
As each book comes with a Santa Sack to keep it safe, a set of bells to make it sound like Christmas and 14 hand inserted letter writing templates (hand inserted due to the carbon paper requirement) it is not a cheap book to produce. Then again it is not a book that lasts just one year. If I am using precious resources then I want to use them wisely and create something that is meant to be treasured and kept safe and not destined for landfill.
If I can raise £20,000 I can get 2000 copies in the area’s that need them most. I am starting the campaign now and hoping the season’s cheer and the theme of the book will combine to achieve my goal.
If successful I will place my order in the new year and keep you all posted on its progress.
Every £10 invested is a book into the hands of children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges.