Berkshire Community Foundation has awarded local reading charity ABC to Read a grant of £5,000 to address the education gap caused by Covid-19. This is in addition to numerous previous grants awarded by the Foundation in ongoing support of the charity.
Addressing literacy in primary school aged children is essential to improving their future opportunities. One in four children left primary school in 2019 unable to read to the required standard, and low levels of literacy cost the UK an estimated £81 billion a year in lost earnings and increased welfare spending. Covid has only accentuated these trends.
Illiteracy persists in the UK today, so the support of one-to-one ABC to Read volunteer mentors is pivotal to help turn around the prospects of Berkshire children, particularly in this time of catch-up learning. While there are some very affluent areas in Berkshire where children are exceeding expectations, there are also some deprived areas such as Central Reading.
On average, 500 children are encouraged and mentored by an ABC to Read volunteer every year, with 12,000 hours invested into improving not only their reading ability but their enjoyment of the pastime as well as their general attitudes and confidence.
With many vacancies that could be filled with more volunteers and increasing numbers of children who need catch-up support as schools have re-opened, ABC to Read are actively looking for new volunteers to take part in training this year, likely to be September and November. Schools that are in need of additional reading support are also being actively encouraged to sign up for ABC to Read mentors. For more information about training days or joining the scheme as a school or volunteer mentor, contact: email@example.com.