Read North East

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Read North East is a campaign to raise children’s literacy levels in the North East.

The campaign focuses on encouraging parents to talk and read to their babies and children, strengthening the culture of reading across the region, and engaging businesses to play an important role in addressing the literacy challenge. 

Middlesbrough v Sunderland boys


Our next Read North East book giveaway will be at Sunderland AFC v Middlesbrough FC at the Stadium of Light on Saturday 24 February. Local families will take home reading tips and books kindly donated by campaign partner Penguin Random House Children’s.

Take a look at our upcoming events
Find out more about all our past events

Get involved

  • News and events

    Sign up to receive quarterly emails with Read North East news and events.

    Get in touch

  • Reading with your child

    Tips and resources for encouraging reading and supporting your child's literacy. 

    Visit Words for Life

  • Pledge your support

    Businesses and organisations can support the campaign in a number of ways. 

    Find out more

NE regional pic

The regional picture

The North East has some of the lowest literacy levels in the country. 17% of the population aged 16 to 65 (about 283,500 people) have literacy levels at or below that expected of a 9 to 11 year old, which affects how parents and carers support their children’s literacy development.

The literacy challenge in the region has been reinforced by recent data analysis by the National Literacy Trust and Experian. It found that 60% of wards in the North East have significant literacy need, and the region is second most at risk of literacy problems in the country.  Find out more

The North East Literacy Forum

The North East Literacy Forum is the campaign steering group, made up of key regional and national organisations.

Find out more