supports School Literacy Charity call to address skills gap

Celebrating 25 years of dedicated tutoring to improve young people’s literacy within schools, ‘Springboard for Children’ re-launched itself as ‘The Children’s Literacy Charity’ at a special event held at Regent’s University London on Wednesday 6 September.

One of the charity’s founding patrons is Regent’s University London’s Chancellor, Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE, who hosted the event. He commented:

“It is a real honour to recognise 25 years of Springboard and its transition to The Children’s Literacy Charity.

Picture caption: Michael Momoh, the Children’s Literacy Charity’s first pupil when it began in Peckham, London, in 1992, and Lord Hastings, Chancellor of Regent’s University London.

“We’re just days away from the anniversary of the cataclysmic events which took place September 11, 2001. At that exact moment, President George W Bush was reading with elementary children ahead of giving a major speech titled ‘Putting Reading First.’

“The speech was never given. It was going to be the biggest ever US and global investment in primary-age literacy. He knew then what we know now - depriving a child of the capacity to read is to deny them a critical part of their humanity.”

As millions of children return to school this week in the UK, The Children’s Literacy Charity is calling for more to be done to address the literacy gap in schools and communities, particularly in underprivileged urban areas.

Matthew Hickey, chief executive of The Children’s Literacy Charity, said: “With more than three million children in the UK growing up in poverty and disadvantage, we know that literacy skills can take up to three generations to address, leading to poorer life outcomes, including education, employment prospects and health.”

Established following an apparent gap in supporting children who are struggling with literacy skills, the charity’s work has reached thousands of children in disadvantaged urban areas of the UK. In the last year it provided 43,000 hours of support alone, narrowing the comprehension age gap by 12 months on average.

James Robinson, head teacher of Camelot Primary School in Southwark, who have worked with The Children’s Literacy Charity for many years, said:

“Support in classes from The Children’s Literacy Charity are a vital part of how we use our primary premium to address real skills and attainment gaps. The support tutors are able to provide help build confidence and momentum amongst the children who need it most and we really are seeing gaps where this type of support is essential.”

Through its dedicated volunteers, the charity provides individualised literacy support through its ‘Literacy Labs’, delivered both in schools and the community, building skills and confidence to support children’s learning.

The launch event also welcomed Michael Momoh, the charity’s first pupil from Peckham, London, who shared his own moving story about the interventions he received as an 8-year-old boy, whose lack of literacy was regarded as a lack of interest.

His experience has led to him becoming a successful entrepreneur, actor and consultant, with a university degree. He is currently studying towards his MBA.