NRP Annual Report 2017
ANNUAL REPORT - JUNE 2017
Recent data has found that young people in England are amongst the most illiterate in the developed world. We are the only country where 16-24 year olds have lower literacy skills than 55-65 year olds. The impact of low literacy levels can be seen in many aspects of daily life from health and wellbeing to the obvious economic effect of inadequate reading ability.
The Norfolk Reading Project was established in 2014 to help address these low levels of literacy. In 2017 we have continued to extend our support to schools across the county by providing trained volunteers to listen to children read in school on a one to one basis. We currently have over 60 volunteers in 25 schools with more schools contacting us every week to ask for assistance in providing Reading Support Volunteers. Over 60 schools have expressed an interest in volunteers.
We have received enormous support this year from the Norfolk Library Service, who have given us a venue for our training sessions in the Millennium Library, free of charge. This has allowed us to hold regular training sessions in a professional environment for both new volunteers and those already in schools. We have held eight training sessions this year, two of these were held in schools for their existing volunteers and staff members. These training sessions have been well received by both those who have attended and the schools who are benefitting from them. As one teacher put it, “quality volunteers” who understand how reading is currently taught in school make such a difference. We also have a large display on the wall in the Children’s Library in the Forum which is helping to boost volunteer numbers.
The Norfolk Integrated Education Advisory Services continues to provide support and has contacted all primary schools in Norfolk with details of our project and how we can help support them.
We are currently in the process of changing our status from a Charitable Trust to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. This will enable us to make the most of our fundraising efforts using Gift Aid and also mean that we can apply for grants and other funding from agencies that require registered charity status.
This year we have been very proactive on the fundraising front and have raised a total of 4479.34 pounds with a further 1000 pounds to come from two recent tennis tournaments . We would like to thank all those who have contributed to our fundraising efforts and those businesses who have generously sponsored events, in particular: Jarrolds, Libby Ferris Florist and Vanilla Ladieswear.
We recently received an email from a secondary school in the county asking if we were able to help them with some reading support. The email went on to say that many of the year 7 students were coming in to school with a reading age of seven years and still requiring basic phonics work.
It concludes with a sentence that is worth quoting here, “I do believe that you offer an invaluable service”. It is our aim to help all children in our primary schools learn to read before they get to secondary level , it is quite clear that this is not happening at the moment . It is also clear that regular reading practise is essential if literacy levels are to improve so a massive thank you to all the Reading Support Volunteers who are giving their time to help provide a solution.