Born to Read- Save the Children campaign


We all know about the importance of reading to children from babyhood onwards, and most of us have tried our best to create a literary rich home for our little ones. Trips to the library become a staple part of childhood, with bedtime reading the natural end to many of our days and a wonderful way to install a love for books and storytelling. However, for many thousands of children in the UK this is sadly not the case and there are many disadvantaged parents who simply can’t make this happen for them, for a whole variety of reasons. This in turn leads to poor literacy levels and children leaving school with poor reading and writing abilities, disadvantaged for life. As a teacher and a parent this fills me with so much sadness. Surely there is something we could all do to help? Favourite books


[My girls showing their current favourite books!]

Thankfully this week marks the launch of a fantastic new literacy-based initiative from UK based charity, Save the Children. Raising reading levels has become the centre of their brand new nationwide campaign.

This is what Save the Children have discovered, prior to launching their campaign:

  •  Many poor children in the UK today start school already behind their better-off peers – through no fault of their own.
  • Last year, 1 in 4 poor children left primary school without basic skills in reading and writing.
  • By the time they are seven, nearly 80% of the difference in GCSE results between rich and poor children has already been determined
  • The first two years a child is at school is a crucial window during which to close the attainment gap. Reading is one of the keys to unlocking a child’s potential.
  • If they don’t get the help they need before they leave primary school, another generation of children will face lifelong penalties for being born poor.

Save the Children is today launching a nationwide Born to Read programme– in partnership withBeanstalk – to get 23,000 children across the UK reading over the next four years.

So, how can we all help?

Save the Children is aiming to build a community of helpers, ordinary parents like you and me, to help in a variety of easy ways, either truly hands on and involved or raising awareness and promoting the campaign. Here are a few ways to get involved:

A Campaigner: campaigning with Save the Children to make changes right at the top; to get manifesto commitments from all political parties before the 2015 election to ensure that every child leaves primary school with a good education including being a confident reader and campaigning to get the government to invest in children NOW by allocating an additional £1000 fair chances premium for children aged 5, 6 and 7 who are falling behind and to triple the pupil premium for every eligible primary pupil by 2020.
A Volunteer: Volunteering with Save the Children’s programmes, working face to face with children to help them to catch up if they are struggling with reading, help them to grow in confidence and improve their chances of success in school. As Save the Children’s programmes grow, they will be offering opportunities to volunteer to support in targeted areas.
A Fundraiser: Fundraising to help Save the Children to expand their programmes to reach more children in schools right across the UK, giving them a better start.
A Change maker: Save the Children is hoping to recruit 20,000 Change-Makers who will directly reach children in their first few years of life, by going into more disadvantaged schools to read books to them. Just think of the huge impact this scheme could have for kids who don’t hear many books being read?! Read more about how you can become a change-maker put your name on the volunteer list now!
I hope you will join in and help out in whatever way you can! I am happy to be supporting this project and will give you more information about it as it develops. Thank you!


  1. wonder_popote says

    I am thrilled that your daughter is enjoying ‘Hamish the Highland Cow’. I picked up a copy when I was working in the UK a few years back and my son absolutely adored it. No one in the states has ever heard of it, but the kids love it when I read it to them.

  2. natalie says

    hmm.. in other countries children dont learn to read until 7. and their GCSE (equivalent) results are WAY ahead of ours.

    i dont understand the poverty thing. libraries are free, my children dont own many books because we cant afford to buy them. but they have read a huge range.