A national campaign spearheaded by Save the Children, the CBI and the Teach First charity to improve reading standards on a radical scale is being backed by Berkshire charity ABC to Read.
The Read On. Get On campaign, launched on Monday 8 September, comes in response to a specially commissioned report which sparked the fear that by 2025, 1.5 million British children will reach the age of 11 unable to “read well”.
ABC to Read, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, has long since pioneered the cause for higher literacy rates and works with Berkshire children who are identified by their teachers as struggling to read. The charity recruits, trains and supports community volunteers as reading helpers who commit to assisting each child for at least three terms. In the academic year 2012-2013, 98% of the children ABC to Read worked with improved in their reading performance.
The charity also works with parents to encourage them and teach them how to read with their children so that reading becomes more than just a school activity. Their parent workshops have helped scores of parents to engage with their children through reading, increasing both their confidence and their literacy. Both parent support and public volunteering have been identified as key elements to the Read On. Get On campaign, reinforcing the need for engagement both at school and at home.
Marcia Rowlinson, ABC to Read Chief Operating and Development Officer, said: “The results of this report do not come as a surprise. Our volunteer mentors see this every day and work hard with children to improve their literacy and their love of reading. By working with parents as well, we see a great increase in the progress of the children we work with so we fully support the Read On. Get On campaign and will continue to encourage a love of reading in Berkshire children both at school and at home.”
Earlier this year, ABC to Read was presented with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of its outstanding work with local children who are struggling with their reading.
ABC to Read is recruiting and looking for more volunteers to fill multiple spaces across the county. Anybody interested in becoming a volunteer for ABC to Read, or any schools interested in gaining support from the charity, should email: firstname.lastname@example.org