Middlesbrough’s children and young people hold more positive attitudes to literacy after Year 1 of the Middlesbrough Reading Campaign

16 Apr 2014
Reading Campaign Year 1

Encouraging results from a survey on the degree to which children and young people in Middlesbrough now enjoy reading and writing have been published by the National Literacy Trust.

The new survey found that by the end of 2013, more of Middlesbrough’s children and young people aged 8-16 enjoy reading and read daily, particularly adventure books such as the Percy Jackson series which came out as a top favourite.

Over 2,200 Middlesbrough children and young people were asked questions on their attitudes to reading. These responses were compared to results from the first survey that the National Literacy Trust conducted in 2012, before they launched the Middlesbrough Reading Campaign in January 2013. The top findings include:

  • 6 in 10 children and young people agreed that reading is cool in 2013, compared with 4 in 10 in 2012.
  • 15% more children and young people agreed that writing is cool than those in 2012.
  • 7 in 10 children saw a link between their writing skills and future job prospects in 2013, compared with 6 in 10 in 2012.
  • 9% more children and young people enjoyed reading in 2013 than they did in 2012.

As well as the Percy Jackson series, other books which are a big hit with Middlesbrough’s young people and children include David Walliam’s Demon Dentist, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Horrid Henry. Some of the most popular formats which children and young people in Middlesbrough use to read outside of class are magazines (37.9%), fiction (35.8%) and social networking sites (25.2%). 

During the first year of its Middlesbrough Reading Campaign, the National Literacy Trust and Middlesbrough Council worked with a range of partners to address low literacy in Middlesbrough by increasing awareness of the importance of literacy skills, extend the reach of literacy support to local people and improve the life chances and employability of residents.