Dad Emmanuel brings reading to those most in need as a Read On Nottingham Literacy Champion

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Emmanuel Ofori is a father-of-three living in Hyson Green, Nottingham. He became a Literacy Champion to incorporate improving literacy skills into his role as a volunteer at the Mount Zion food bank.

Emmanuel is an advocate for increasing reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and makes sure to encourage reading with his three children at home as much as possible. ‘I would say everyday more than twice per day’ he explained. ‘I read more with my four-year-old as my 10 and 11-year-olds read by themselves. We do sometimes read together though and I ask them about their books.’

Emmanuel became a Literacy Champion as he believes ‘more people need to recognise the importance of improving literacy and the benefits it has to children’ - especially in Hyson Green, where he lives. “Hyson Green is very diverse and lots of people struggle to understand and speak English. Many people need translators,’ he noted.

Our Literacy Champions project is for anyone like Emmanuel, who wants to make a difference to the literacy levels of the people around them. We support our team of Read On Nottingham volunteers to implement creative, literacy-focused ideas that will encourage children and families to enjoy reading and make it a part of their everyday lives.

Emmanuel realised he could reach several families through his work volunteering at his local food bank. ‘I discussed the idea of being a Literacy Champion for Read On Nottingham and having books available at the foodbank with the other volunteers. We all want to help promote literacy to the community and having books available is something nice for the children,’ he explained.

Emmanuel has witnessed some very positive results through his food bank project. ‘People enjoy the books when visiting the foodbank. Some families have borrowed them to read and use at home and one family borrowed a cook book.’ But he doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. He is now looking to expand the selection available at the foodbank. ‘We have lots of families from lots of different countries. It would be nice to have books in different languages for them to enjoy.’

Becoming a Literacy Champion has also benefitted Emmanuel’s family too. ‘My four-year-old is more interested in reading now,’ he said. ‘I like us coming together as a family, sharing ideas and having conversations. We are learning from each other.’