'Their life chances will be enhanced' - Children's literacy drive launched
PUBLISHED: 12:24 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:24 27 February 2017
A drive to see more young people dive into their favourite book is a chance to enhance life prospects in the county, an education leader has said.
The Get Norfolk Reading campaign, spearheaded by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group and backed by the EDP, was launched on Friday.
It hopes to inspire more young people to get into reading to push up literacy levels around Norfolk.
As well as author visitors, competitions and events, it will also see national charity Beanstalk recruit more volunteer readers to work with young people in schools.
Speaking at the launch on Friday, TEN Group chief executive Dick Palmer said: “Many of our students face a range of barriers.
“Some are economic - in some homes, people literally can’t afford to buy books.
“If you don’t have the literacy skills, it limits what else you can access.”
He said the scheme would go further than simply encouraging young people to read.
“Their life chances will be enhanced, we know that. They will have better lives - we know that.
“That’s why we are really, really passionate about making reading a really core activity.”
At the launch event, children from North Walsham and Lionwood Junior Schools brought along their favourite books, performed a reading of the Get Norfolk Reading story and talked to children’s author Alexander Gordon Smith.
Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman attended to offer his support for the campaign, which has also gained the backing of television presenter Jake Humphrey and Norwich City chairman Ed Balls.
Speaking to the youngsters, Mr Freeman said: “When you read you are doing something really exciting.
“You are discovering a new world and new characters and you are also connecting with the author.”
He said the campaign was an opportunity to enable children to live their dreams.
Norfolk falls slightly below the national average for primary reading ability.
For more information about the campaign or to get involved, visit www.getnorfolkreading.co.uk
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