Become a Literacy Champion with Swindon Stories

Child learning literacy skills online

Do you live in Swindon and want to help improve the literacy levels of children and young people in your community? We’re recruiting for Literacy Champions to support our Swindon Stories campaign.

What is a Literacy Champion?

Literacy Champions are volunteers who help address inequality in Swindon by helping to make reading, writing and talking a priority for everyone in Swindon.

You’ll promote reading for pleasure in a variety of ways and you could be a parent, business professional, teacher, student, sports coach or anyone passionate about making a difference in their local area.

Why does Swindon need Literacy Champions?

Eight wards in Swindon are in the most deprived 10% nationally. Last year, 41% of the most disadvantaged students in Swindon left primary school unable to read well.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that lets us communicate effectively and make sense of the world. Lacking vital literacy skills holds a person back at every stage of their life. As a child they won't be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and as a parent they won't be able to support their own child's learning.

People with low literacy skills may not be able to read a book or newspaper, understand road signs or price labels, make sense of a bus or train timetable, fill out a form, read instructions on medicines or use the internet.

What will being a Literacy Champion involve?

You’ll work in your local community to develop ideas that help improve literacy. This could be with a school, community centre, library, children’s centre or elsewhere. You’ll encourage the people you are working with to make reading an enjoyable part of their everyday lives.

  • Setting up a reading group for adults or children
  • Helping parents visit a children centre for the first time by taking them along and making introductions
  • Getting friends or neighbours to sign up to the local library
  • Creating content or activities for our social media pages – read stories; sing nursery rhymes, model reading with your children; write book recommendations
  • Taking children from the neighbourhood to the library
  • Organising a book swap in their local area
  • Hide books in a local park
  • Planning a literacy-based outing (such as a shopping trip or a trip to the countryside)

You could also be a Digital Literacy Champion, creating content for our social media pages and helping to spread the word online, so that we can reach more people in Swindon.

In your role, you will have access to training, support and information from Swindon Stories, helping you to reach those in your community who need help most.

How do I become a Literacy Champion?

Email Swindon Stories Project Officer Sonja van Leeuwen or message us through our Facebook page and we’ll get in touch.