Can you remember learning to read? What is the importance of reading and how does it change lives?
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.
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.
What would you say is the importance of reading?