Scottish Book Trust will work with schools in areas of multiple deprivation to reach thousands of pupils
A programme that partners older and younger pupils to encourage reading for pleasure has been awarded £40,000 to run in Glasgow primary schools.
Scottish Book Trust, the national charity which promotes reading and writing, will work with schools in areas of multiple deprivation to reach thousands of primary-age pupils.
Glasgow has some of the UK’s poorest neighbourhoods with more than one-third (34.31%) of children in the city living in poverty. In the constituency of Glasgow Central that figure rises to 45%.
Literacy problems are often linked to poverty and inequality of opportunity. Being able to read confidently can improve a child’s life chances, helping them to do well at school and in later life.
Scottish Book Trust’s Reading Buddies project targets this issue by supporting children to read picture books to younger pupils in their school and community.
The schools programme builds reading skills, confidence and enjoyment of books and stories in pupils, and engages all levels of ability.
Project activity will happen in schools located in areas of high deprivation, where the impact could be most beneficial.
The storytelling will build the older pupils’ presentation skills, social skills and leadership skills.
Reading to younger children encourages them to explore books and stories, as well as building an interest in reading for pleasure in both age groups. The project will also include parental and volunteer involvement in schools, to encourage shared reading at home.
Funding to run the programme in Glasgow has been awarded from two organisations.
£20,000 is from the People’s Postcode Trust, a grant giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and £20,000 is from the Barcapel Foundation, which makes financial awards to charities working in areas of health, heritage and youth.
Reading Buddies will run in Glasgow from next week (20 August) until the end of March 2019. The programme is sustainable beyond its funding as the tools and teacher resources will remain with the schools for use with classes in subsequent years. The teachers who have undertaken the professional development training can also pass their knowledge on to colleagues.
Marc Lambert, chief executive of Scottish Book Trust, said: “Reading Buddies nurtures a love of reading, developing a range of literacy skills and supporting children to become more confident readers. It also encourages imagination, curiosity and leadership. Improving access to reading and writing programmes, for children and adults, is one of our key aims.
“This is most important in areas where poverty prevents some families from taking advantage of all the opportunities that a lifelong love of books and reading can bring. We are very grateful to the funding from People’s Postcode Trust and the Barcapel Foundation that has enabled us to provide this programme in Glasgow.”
Laura Chow, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, added: “Reading Buddies goes beyond just improving literacy; this project will allow children to share the enjoyment and excitement that books can bring with other people in their home, whilst also developing a range of other positive skills that will stay with them through life. I’m delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Reading Buddies with funding from People’s Postcode Trust.”