Every Child a Reader to go nation-wide

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Yesterday the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced in the House of Commons that the government will support a national roll-out of the Every Child A Reader Initiative, in which SHINE is a founding sponsor, from 2008.

Every Child A Reader

Every Child A Reader is a £10 million, three year initiative targeting disadvantaged children with serious literacy problems. ECaR logo resizedA collaboration between charitable trusts like SHINE, the business sector and government, the programme is proving how, given the right resources, literacy can be tackled effectively.

Its initial aim is to improve the reading skills of 5,000 children living in some of the UK’s poorest boroughs. Specialist literacy teachers, trained in the bespoke ‘Reading Recovery’ programme, provide intensive, daily individual support within schools to the children who need it most.

The government’s pledge

This pledge means that, between 2008 and 2011, the initiative will be extended on an annual basis so that, by 2010/2011, it will be helping 30,000 children across the country every year – six times more than it is currently doing.

The government also announced an additional £10 million in 2007-08 to increase personalised support in schools where boys are falling behind. In his speech outlining his Pre-Budget Report, the Chancellor described Every Child A Reader as providing “the best results in literacy”. The Pre-Budget Report itself confirms research conducted by the programme that participating children “make progress in reading at well over four times the normal rate and can be brought up to nationally expected levels.”

Jean Gross, Director of Every Child A Reader, said: “We are delighted that the Government has decided to roll out the Every Child A Reader programme nationally. It is great news that 30,000 children can get the help they need. This will make a huge difference to the lives of children who struggle to learn to read – especially those who live in poverty.”

Stephen Shields, Chief Executive of SHINE, said: “We welcome the news that the Government has decided to throw its weight behind Every Child A Reader. A nationwide roll out will enable many thousands more children who are struggling at school to get the early intervention they need; intervention which has already been proven to make a real, lasting difference to academic attainment.”