Unfortunately, many people in Peterborough suffer from a hidden and deeply entrenched problem – they struggle with basic literacy.
Last year only half of disadvantaged children in the city left primary school reading well. They are unlikely to catch up in secondary school, severely affecting their employment prospects. As well as impacting their own life chances, should they become a parent, low literacy could prevent them from supporting their child’s learning, continuing the cycle of illiteracy and deprivation.
The National Literacy Trust aims to break this cycle, focussing our work in the communities where the literacy need is greatest. Our approach is different in each place we work because every community has different needs and this is the best way to create long-lasting change.
Working with our local partners, the Peterborough City Council and Vivacity, we have created a local campaign called Peterborough Reads to focus on the key priorities in the Peterborough area – helping to improve the school readiness of young children and the enjoyment, engagement and achievement of reading.
We work in a variety of ways, including through nurseries and community volunteers to improve the confidence and skills of parents so they are better able to support their children’s development at home. We also work through schools to help reluctant, unconfident and struggling young readers get access to the support and resources they need to improve their reading.
This year we are launching Peterborough Celebrates Reading – a year-long project to engage parents and children in reading through a series of exciting events across the city. The activity in the lead up to, during and after the Year of Reading will be underpinned by a local media campaign that will be delivered in partnership with local broadcast, print, online and social media outlets and by working with local businesses, cultural organisations, housing associations and sporting partners to distribute messaging. This PR activity will help to raise awareness of literacy through the Year of Reading and beyond, delivering a powerful campaign with a lasting legacy.
We are looking for organisations and individuals to get involved with Peterborough Celebrates Reading. To find out more, please contact Darranda Rowswell at 07825 339 285 or visit our website at www.literacytrust.org.uk