Reading for enjoyment

Jul 2015
Reading for enjoyment - the National Literacy Trust's Young Readers Programme

Guest post from the National Literacy Trust

One person in six in the UK lives with poor literacy. This holds them back at every stage of their life.

As a child they won't be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and on becoming a parent, they won't be able to support their child's learning.

Lacking these vital skills undermines their well-being and stops them making a full contribution to the economic and cultural life of our nation. Improving literacy boosts life chances and early action on literacy can turn around a child's future.

The National Literacy Trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. We work to improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK's most disadvantaged communities. Our research and analysis make us the leading authority on literacy and drive our interventions. Low literacy is inter-generational so we focus our work on families, young people and children. We support schools, campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents and establish literacy projects in the poorest communities.

Reading for enjoyment is at the forefront of the National Literacy Trust's Vision for Literacy 2025. The National Literacy Trust's Young Readers Programme promotes reading for enjoyment to children in deprived communities across the country by teaching them choice strategies and offering them the chance to choose free books of their own to keep.

Teachers are trained around reading for enjoyment and then deliver a series of fun literacy-focused events for their class. This year the programme is reaching more than 100 primary schools, benefiting in excess of 8,000 children.

The programme is supported by research from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which found that reading for enjoyment is more important for children's educational success than their family's socio-economic status. You can find out more about the Young Readers Programme here.

[1] OECD (2002), Reading for Change: Performance and engagement across countries