#BornToRead

I joined in a Twitter chat last week, in partnership with Save the Children and their Born to Read campaign. It shocked me. It upset me. It stayed with me.

books11I learned that ‘A fifth of 7-year-olds from poorer families are already behind in reading. Most struggle to catch up, leading to a lifetime of lower qualifications and fewer opportunities.’ And ‘Last year, a quarter of the UK’s poorest children left primary school without basic reading and writing skills’.

I cannot imagine my life, my world without words. I couldn’t begin to even guess at how many books I’ve read in my lifetime – thousands. My mind’s full of them. My world has been broadened by them. I’ve giggled in the dorms at Malory Towers, run with the animals through Farthing Wood, become an equestrienne with Rupert Campbell-Black, strolled the gardens at Pemberley, run for my life through the halls of The Overlook hotel and the list could go on and on…

And then there’s the magazines, newspapers and social media that I enjoy and glean plenty of new information from. Then there are the blogs that I read, and write, the pen pals that send me happy mail and bring sunshine to my day. These are things that bring me enjoyment. I haven’t even started to think on the necessary – the bills I need to read and understand, letters from Boo’s preschool, signs as I’m out and about, all reading matter that I needed in my career and now in my business. What would I do if I couldn’t read and write? How would that make me feel in society today?

And what about my children? I’ve been surrounding them with books since they were just a few weeks old, and I don’t think a day’s gone by in their lives when they’ve not listened to a story or picked up a book themselves and flicked through. Just this last week, I’ve blogged here about their favourite books and our fabulous trip to the Julia Donaldson exhibition. These are everyday parts of our lives. Boo recites most of her books from memory (and she’s got a lot of books!). Little Man toddles over and grabs them for me and then points at them aggressively until I read them to him! They love their stories. They weave a world of imagination and magic around them, and all the time they’re getting lost in these faraway worlds, they are learning basic language and literacy skills that will set them up for life. A hugely enjoyable pastime, for all of us, that gives them a better start and a better chance in life.

I want every child to have this.

Please help to change the story. Share this post with the hastags #borntoread or #educationmatters. You can find out more about it all here, and sign up as a change-maker here, as I have done.

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12 thoughts on “#BornToRead”

  1. The author James Patterson is also involved with literacy in the UK too. When I heard those stats last year for the first time poorer families weren’t mentioned. I’d probably agree with that as books are accessible in so many ways now and I don’t see it making a difference whether the kids are rich or poor. With the shocking survey I read about it was across the board. Pretty frightful. Too many kids are playing “Call of Duty” or rubbish like that instead of having access to books and that’s not down to cost. More attitude.

    1. I so agree with you. It needs to be prioritised and with libraries and charities shops jogging us free or cheap access, we need to get more kids reading. Thanks for commenting x

  2. My husband works in a primary school and he comes across it far too often. Their school has even donated books to certain children with particularity difficult home-lives. If you come from a house filled with books it is so difficult to imagine not having any, a great post!
    Hayley @hayleyfromhome recently posted…A Little Bit LatelyMy Profile

    1. Thank you. It really upsets me to imagine a childhood without stories. Must be hard for your husband being so close to it, too.

    1. That’s great news – glad to have inspired someone else. It is so shocking and alarming, and like you, my 4 year old adores books and is learning to read, which does bring it home more.

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