It is Freshers’ Week so it made me think about my first week at university and the things I did during Freshers Week.

1. I cried when my parents left me there.
2. I bumped into a girl literally as we both tried to get to the loss. She is my friend 24 years later.
3. I met a girl from Glasgow and thought she was from overseas as I could not tell a word she was saying. We were friends for many years.
4. I ate spinach and walnut soup – Yuck!
5. I worried that I was the only Northern and working-class person in the place.
6. I discovered a whole new language – bop, bedder, sweaty bop, pigeonhole, supervision etc
7. I got locked in the loo during the Freshers’ Dinner. I bumped into another girl on coming out and we are still friends.
8. I attended the Freshers’ Fair but did not have the confidence to join any societies there.
9. I had a really good buffet lunch at the Christian Union event.
10. I met a girl whose relation was a really famous artist.
11. I felt inadequate as everyone went on about their exciting years off in Peru etc.
12. I developped my first college crush.
13. I visited my first law library.
14. I shopped at the largest bookshop I had every seen.
15. I discovered Nadia’s patisserie.
16. I met a rotten Roman Law teacher.
17. I got hit on the head with a ruler when I fell asleep in a lecture.
18. I saw the Madonna film Desperately Seeking Susan.
19. I went to a pub with people I would never socialise with again.
20. I decided that this was possibly the best move I was every going to make and it was!

brill

RS84339_Read-On-Get-On_High-res logo

Can you remember learning to read?

I remember when the shapes of letters started to have meaning to me and I remember the thrill of reading books but also things like road signs.

My parents read to me and the house was full of books both fiction and non-fiction. Reading made me want to write and look where that took me. I read about Cambridge University when I was a little girl so when I was told I had an outside chance of getting in, I was inspired to work hard and to do so. I always remember my late mum saying it was impossible to be lonely if you had a good book.

My Mum left school aged 11 so used to get the Reader’s Digest and learn the meanings of new words. She had an amazing vocabulary and could hold her own in any company despite her very humble background.

Reading is the key to a child’s future: it unlocks their potential and opens up a world filled with possibilities and for our poorest children reading well is their best route out of poverty: they do better at school, better in the workplace and are better placed to give their own children the best start in life.

However, every year in the UK, 130,000 children, leave primary school not reading as well as they should. This figure includes 40% of all children from poorer backgrounds – a shockingly high proportion. This means over the next decade almost 1.5 million children will start secondary school already behind with dismal consequences for their futures. As if poverty is not soul-destroying enough, the lack of good literacy skills keeps children trapped where they are with little hope of moving forwards positively finding themselves unemployed or in low paid jobs.

Save the Children UK’s research has also found that the UK’s GDP could be an extra 2.1% higher by 2025 if we can get all our children reading well by age 11- the equivalent of £32.1 billion.

PETITION

I would love you to get behind the Read On Get On campaign – a national mission to ensure every child is a confident reader by age 11.

Act Now: Sign the petition calling on party leaders to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025.

Here is the message to leaders

I call on you to make a commitment to get every child reading well at age 11 by 2025. Together, we will ensure that all children have a brighter future.
Together we can make sure that every child leaves primary school with the reading skills to shape a brighter future:

Find out more about the campaign

You have read this blog. You know the joy of reading. Take the time to sign the petition and play your part in fighting for a brighter future for our children.

If you sign the petition, you can then enjoy the amazing David Walliams reading you and your child a story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ce5ATeNrTM0

Read With Me