The National Literacy Trust has teamed up with partners across the city to launch an exciting new literacy campaign: Read Dundee. This is the first Literacy Hub in Scotland and is a ten-year commitment to help raise literacy levels across the city and equip children aged 0-12 with the literacy skills they need to succeed in life. Higher literacy levels will improve a child's success at school, their job opportunities in adult life , their mental and physical health, and even their life expectancy.
Thanks to the support from across Dundee City Council, the Northwood Charitable Trust and multiple community partners and schools, Read Dundee will promote a love of reading and make sharing stories a part of everyday family life. The first four priority communities will be: Douglas and Linlathen, Kirkton and Ardler, Hilltown and West Stobswell. These locations have been identified has having significant literacy needs and challenges linked to deprivation, rural isolation and low social mobility.
To launch Read Dundee, Key partners gathered at City Chambers on Wednesday 2 November to hear from Lord Provost Bill Campbell, Paul Fleming the Interim Head of Service - Education, Learning and Inclusion (Chief Education Officer) at Dundee City Council, and Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive at the National Literacy Trust, to outline the aims of the campaign and celebrate the cross-sector collaboration that will help achieve the best for Dundee’s next generation.
In addition, the National Literacy Trust team toured the city on Thursday 3 November, with a series of exciting family-friendly activities that encourage reading, writing, and talking, as well as gifting books to local children. This included a visit from special guest Dennis from Beano, performances from Mousetale Puppets, and a heroes and villains quiz. Books were distributed to launch the campaign, to children at St Fergus Primary School, Claypotts Castle Nursery School, and SS Peter and Paul’s RC Primary School.
“The launch of Read Dundee firmly establishes a long-term partnership between the National Literacy Trust, and the early years specialists, teachers, and families of Dundee. Together we will work to develop the early language, communication and literacy skills of the city’s children. Parenting is one of the most important jobs in the world, but in the midst of a cost of living crisis, it may feel harder than ever. Read Dundee will ensure that a child’s right to literacy and education is not forgotten, and a new generation of Dundonians have the reading, writing, and communication skills needed to fulfill their potential.”Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive at the National Literacy Trust
“I look forward to seeing the National Literacy Trust Hub grow and develop over the coming months. The work of the Hub, working in partnership with our Children and Families Service, will make a difference to lots of children in Dundee. We know that our primary schools in Dundee do fantastic work and children make good progress, but additional and early intervention can improve this further. Reading is so important to children and is the gateway to many other strands of learning. Anything that we can do collectively to inspire a love of books from an early age is worthwhile.”Councillor Stewart Hunter, Children and Families Convener
Read Dundee is the latest Hub from the National Literacy Trust and joins 16 others across the UK, using a place-based approach to improve literacy levels and life chances. For more information visit literacytrust.org.uk/readdundee.