We believe that being able to read is vital in today’s society and we know that the work of Reading Quest can transform a child’s future life chances. Below is a comment from a Year 2 class teacher about one of her pupils who had support from us.
She wrote, ‘I have observed a remarkable improvement in the confidence of F since Reading Quest. In lessons, she volunteers contributions, which are very thoughtful. Before Reading Quest, F was very quiet and did not contribute to class discussions. Since the course, F has continued to grow not only in confidence, but also in attainment. I am confident that Reading Quest has had a direct impact on F’s progress and I am in no doubt that F will continue her progress in all areas of school because of the support she has received.’
Through our work, we have to achieve the following objectives:
- To raise literacy attainment in schools.
- To empower pupils on the path to literacy.
- To support parents/carers in their role as their child’s first educators.
- To provide parents/carers with further learning opportunities.
- To provide professionals with the skills to carry out Reading Quest work.
- To provide accreditation opportunities for professionals.
Why are we needed?
The need for literacy support in the primary school sector has probably never been so great. A report in March 2012 revealed that illiteracy in the UK is costing £81 billion each year, the highest in Europe.
The report from the World Literacy Foundation stated that the UK itself suffers significantly from the cost of poor literacy. Some 22% of the UK’s population is estimated to be functionally illiterate, meaning they may have difficulty with basic tasks, such as applying for a job, writing a letter to their MP or reading their child’s school report.
Furthermore, The KPMG Charitable Trust report (2006) on the costs of illiteracy, found that:
- There was a distinct relationship between poverty and literacy skills, with children who are eligible for free school meals being over twice as likely to only achieve a low level 3 in SATS results in English.
- Poverty was a hugely influential factor on literacy, but that a child having English as an additional language was also likely to struggle with literacy skills.
- Children with poor reading skills entering secondary school were four times more likely to truant at school.
- At age 37, over a fifth of men who were long- term unemployed or sick, had low literacy levels.
- Literacy problems were the main barrier to full-time employment for women aged over 30 than social exclusion risk factors.