Sheffield schoolchildren are being encouraged to develop a love of reading, as part of a new partnership between the National Literacy Trust and Meadowhall Shopping Centre.
250 pupils from primary schools within the city have taken part in a series of literacy-focused events at the shopping centre this month - including treasure hunts and workshops - as part of the National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers’ Programme.
The partnership follows a report from ‘Read On. Get On’ - a coalition of charities and organisations - which revealed that close to one in four children in England cannot read well by the age of 11. This figure rises to two in five among children from low-income families.
The Young Readers’ Programme, supported by £200,000 funding from the joint owners of Meadowhall Shopping Centre, British Land, is designed to encourage reading for enjoyment, which can lead to improved attainment, and this year’s project aims to reach 5000 pupils across the UK.
The programme also encourages parents to get involved at home, by providing tips and advice online about how they can to motivate and inspire their children to develop a love of reading.
Darren Pearce, Meadowhall Centre Director, said: “This partnership is a great opportunity for us to reinforce links with the local community, whilst addressing an important issue in the form of young people’s literacy. We want to help children develop a passion for reading which can contribute to improved attainment.”
In the last two years, 96 per cent of teachers with pupils taking part in the Young Readers’ Programme projects reported the children showing a greater enjoyment of reading.