A new project to transform Liverpool into the UK’s foremost reading city has launched.
Liverpool Learning Partnership’s City of Readers project developed out of Mayor Joe Anderson’s pledge to improve education standards and ensure that no child, if able, leaves primary school unable to read. Jane Davis, director of The Reader Organisation, has been appointed by Liverpool Learning Partnership to run the campaign to raise the profile of reading in the city and develop a new generation of readers.
Recent studies have demonstrated that reading is more important to a child’s social mobility than their parents’ education, and that those who read for pleasure showed more progress in maths as well as spelling and vocabulary.
Children from Springwood Heath and St Christopher’s primary schools joined Cllr Lana Orr, Cabinet Member for Reading, and representatives from project partners Liverpool Echo, Radio Merseyside and The Reader Organisation for an afternoon of reading and crafts to launch City of Readers. The project aims to improve reading levels in schools over the next five years, and is focusing on raising the profile of reading in Liverpool in 2014.
Jane Davis said: “Reading simply for enjoyment is so important to a child’s development and a wonderful activity to share with others. We need everyone in Liverpool to act as role models for our children, reading at home, reading in schools and reading in the community.
City of Readers is asking individuals and organisations to ‘Give Us Five’ towards the project, whether joining the Echo’s campaign pledging to read an extra five minutes a day, donating £5 towards an event, or volunteering for five hours a week.
Local writer Frank Cottrell Boyce has made the first pledge to give us 5000 words and write a new book in monthly instalments that will appear on the City of Readers website from June, inspired by contributions from the public.Together we can make Liverpool a City of Readers.”
Businesses who are interested in finding out more are invited to meet Jane at an explanatory event at Unit 51, Baltic Creative, at 4pm on Wednesday 19th March.