Read On. Get On. How reading can help children escape poverty

Learning Auckland is a home-grown collective impact initiative emerging in Auckland. The first focus of work is early oral language (oracy) and school oracy. It’s  a big challenge.

The same challenge is being taken on in a new 10 year campaign Read On Get On to help children escape poverty by reading recently  launched in the UK, spearheaded by Save the Children.    And not only are they focusing on early oracy, in the one campaign they are tacking the linked issue – low reading achievement at the end of primary school 

Education is a key way out of poverty, yet children from poor families are more likely to struggle to become fluent readers. Read On. Get On. aims that by 2025 all children born in the UK will reading well by the age of 11. That means all of those children born this year will be reading at the level they need when they start high school in a decade.

An interim goals is that by 2020, all UK children will achieve good early oral language by the age of 5.   Research from Newcastle University commissioned for this initiative shows that by the age of 3 there is already a year and a half developmental gap between the best-off and poorest families.

Another strand of the work is to encourage reading for pleasure.  Children who don’t read for pleasure are 10 times more likely to have fallen behind in reading.  A straightforward focus to start – Increasing the number of parents, carers and those with a child in their life reading with that child for 10 mintues a day.

Read On. Get On is worth watching because Auckland has the same challenges. 24% of children are below the National Standard for reading at the end of primary school.    And there is some really useful material about the cost of low literacy in the research report.


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