Research estimates that if every child left primary school with the reading skills they need, our economy could be more than £32.1 billion bigger by 2025. Low literacy and numeracy skills are also affecting our productivity as a nation.
Now in its sixth year, the Vision for Literacy Business Pledge calls on UK businesses to join the national literacy campaign to help close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility.
In 2021, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are calling on businesses to support the literacy levels of children and young people to protect them from future youth unemployment.
First established by the National Literacy Forum in 2015, with the support of KPMG. In 2021 83 businesses pledged to take action. You can download the 2021 pledge here.
Examples of action taken by businesses in 2021 include:
- The National Literacy Trust worked closely with real estate partner British Land to adapt the Young Readers Programme, ensuring that children were still able to benefit despite school closures. British Land also connected the National Literacy Trust with their local teams at 20 UK locations, donating 6,000 books and 3,000 literacy activity packs through local food banks during lockdown.
- The McDonald’s Happy Readers scheme, where toys are replaced with books for a six-week period annually, has run for the past eight years and will now take place all year round. McDonald’s also distributed 2,500 books to local charities such as Fareshare, to help ensure families in the greatest need had books over the summer.
- During lockdown, Bloomsbury launched Katherine Rundell’s The Book of Hopes, a free online collection of new short stories, poems and pictures from more than 110 writers and illustrators to comfort and inspire children during lockdown. It was hosted exclusively on the National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone website and brought more than 100,000 families to the website, where they could access more literacy support.