The National Literacy Trust campaign launched in Suffolk to improve the county’s literacy levels is celebrating a year of events, partnerships and getting more than 31,000 books into the hands of children.
Get Suffolk Reading was launched on 8 September 2021 as a ten-year commitment from the National Literacy Trust and Suffolk County Council to raise literacy levels across the county and equip children and families with the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.
"It’s wonderful to be celebrating a year since the launch of Get Suffolk Reading. Thanks to the support we get from Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Libraries, Suffolk Mind, local partners and volunteers in each of our project areas and too many organisations to name, we’ve been able to make such a difference to families."Sarah Olley, Project Manager for Get Suffolk Reading
Since then, it has set up dedicated projects in three areas of the county – Haverhill, Stowmarket and Lowestoft – to deliver events and activities that encourage reading in young people.
Across Suffolk, more than 31,000 books have been given to children, 266 Literacy Champion volunteers have been recruited and the campaign has worked with more than 250 organisations.
"Free books have been given to children at hundreds of events and through our community bookshelves initiative. We’ve brought authors to meet schoolchildren in the classroom, inspiring them to write and invent stories of their own. Communities have embraced several fun story trails in each of the three town centres, with storytellers and organisations getting involved to make them a success. We can’t wait for what the next year has in store – we have plenty planned.”Sarah Olley, Project Manager for Get Suffolk Reading
The National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey for 2022 revealed that one in five children aged 5 to 8 do not have a book of their own at home. This is thought to be due to the rising cost of living, with just over half of parents surveyed saying that books are too expensive to buy now.
Get Suffolk Reading has three main priorities: increasing parental engagement during the crucial early years, supporting wellbeing through engagement with literature, and raising aspirations and increasing employability skills.
“Thanks so much to Get Suffolk Reading – they’ve given us a delivery of beautiful books and we have decided to gift every child a book when it’s their birthday. They give us amazing support.”Maxine Mason, Pastoral Leader at Crawford’s Primary School in Stowmarket