The Literacy Project

A child reaches for a book

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world.

Our success in life is heavily based on our ability to read and write. Whether you’re the CEO of a multi-national company or working at a supermarket, good literacy is a must-have skill. It is, however, something that many of us take for granted.

In the UK 16.4% of adults have very poor literacy skills – one of the highest rates in the developed world. Low literacy runs along the fault-lines in a society, and in England this fault-line is deprivation. At Norfolk Community Foundation, we are challenging the idea that low literacy is inevitable in areas of high deprivation by introducing The Literacy Project.

When we see a problem, we turn it on its head: issues with literacy come from a lack of confidence and a lack of interest. To overcome this, we are introducing innovative approaches into schools to build confidence in young people, improving their skills and giving them the best possible chance.

We know that collaboration and team work can make great things happen. That why we’ve brought together local and national partners, like The Reading Project and The National Literacy Trust, to pilot the Project in schools in the most deprived areas of Norwich and Thetford.

While we have provided funding for the project, Norfolk Community Foundation are more than just a funder; we have been drawing on our excellent partnerships with local businesses to actively recruit and train volunteers to go into schools to help children build their confidence and improve their literacy.

 

A woman sits in a library reading to a little boy
England is the only country in the developed world in which adults aged 55-to-65 perform better in literacy and numeracy than those aged 16-to-24.
0 %
of disadvantaged children in the UK said they do not have a book of their own
of disadvantaged children in the UK said they do not have a book of their own
0 %
of Thetford primary school students are below their expected reading level when entering secondary schoo
of Thetford primary school students are below their expected reading level when entering secondary schoo
0 %
of Norwich primary school students are below their expected reading level when entering secondary school
of Norwich primary school students are below their expected reading level when entering secondary school
0 %
of the UK’s adult population have ‘very poor literacy skills’*
of the UK’s adult population have ‘very poor literacy skills’*

Want to get involved?

A man gestures to a powerpoint in front of colleagues sitting in a large open plan office.

There are several ways that businesses can offer support:

  • By taking part and inviting the school they are linked with to be involved too
  • Paying for a selection of books linked to mental wellbeing to be gifted to their partner school
  • Giving wider community support linked to wellbeing through grassroots community groups. The National Literacy Trust would produce materials aimed at families using these local groups, so they could be part of the Take 10 reading challenge with additional support from a group embedded in their community.

If your business is based in Norwich or Thetford and wants to get behind The Literacy Project, please get in touch with Judy Dow at Norfolk Community Foundation.

 

Logos: Norfolk Community Foundation, Norfolk Reading Project, and National Literacy Trust

The literacy project is delivered in partnership between Norfolk Community FoundationThe Norfolk Reading Project and The National Literacy Trust.

*All data is sourced from the National Literacy Trust.

 

Published: 16/05/2022