Today was Commonwealth Day. I know this because the Director of the National Literacy Trust, where I spent the day, was off to meet the Queen at a Service of Thanksgiving. The purpose of the Commonwealth is to promore cooperation and collaboration – I certainly benefitted from collabation today.
The National Literacy Trust, is a 20 year old charity dedicated to transforming lives through literacy. Major work strands include literacy in the community, working with schools and policy and advocacy work. Creating literacy action hubs in high need communities, drawing in multiple partners and drawing on detailed data to focus the work will be a major driver of the organisation’s work for the next decade. The hubs bring together early learning, schools and family learning. More on hubs next week after I visit Middlesbrough.
Using sport-focused literacy to engage boys emerged out of a Boys Reading Commission. A partnership with rugby league is emerging to encourage families participation in early learning in NZ -but nothing specifically about boys’ reading to my knowledge.
It will be interesting to see what comes of the multi-agency 10 year literacy vision developed during the 2014 election campaign. One of the four recommendations was the creation of an Early Years Minister to drive an integrated health, education, welfare and business approach to early learning and early years policy. I wonder if that has attracted much political attention.
A key platform for the Trust has been making the connections explict between intergenerational poverty and intergenerational low literacy and I am coming home with some powerful messages about that.
The final strand of conversations centred around Early Words Together, a programme designed to raise the confidence of parents to support literacy learning at home. Hopefully next week I’ll get to see a training session in action.
As you can see from the photo, I have come away with a lot of reading to do! I have had a great day. My thanks to the Trust staff who were very generous with their time today.