Today, to coincide with Children’s Book Week, Save the Children is launching a new campaign which promises to change the story for the UK’s poorest children. Because a recent report produced by the charity highlights how the life chances of poor children in the UK are determined by the time they are just seven years old and shows how falling behind at school at such a young age can limit their future opportunities.
So Save the Children is joining forces with the charity Beanstalk in an effort to give every child a fair chance. Their new report, Too Young to Fail, highlights the problems:
• Many poor children in the UK today start school already behind their better-off peers – through no fault of their own.
• Last year, 1 in 4 poor children left primary school without basic skills in reading and writing.
• The years between 4 and 7 are a crucial opportunity for children who started behind to catch up. Reading is one of the keys to unlocking a child’s potential.
• If they don’t get the help they need before they leave primary school, another generation of children will face lifelong penalties for being born poor. No child should be left behind.
Save the Children aims to recruit 20,000 ‘change makers’ over the next 4 years who will help reach children in their first chapters of life, giving them a better chance of fulfilling their potential.
So, what can you do to help? Well, as today marks the beginning of a journey to change the story for children in the UK they'd love it if you could help raise public awareness of the campaign and get us all - especially parents - to stand together for children.
As a writer, I'm all in favour of creating new readers. And as a parent I'm grateful that my children have already begun what I hope will be a life-long love affair with books.
Let's help make that happen for everyone.