This morning my children left for school dressed as Dennis the Menace, Greg Heffley (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Delia Gates (Tom Gates). This was not a brazen flouting of school uniform but a response to World Book Day. World Book Day is an initiative to mark a worldwide celebration of reading designed to promote reading to children.
Although the focus is on children, it got me thinking about the adults I meet every day, who do not possess the skills to read this blog post. The Centre supports them to become confident readers, through the Yes We Can Read programme. Each learner gets a reading coach that supports them to be able to read and understand the written word within 10 months. We would not be able to provide this life changing service without the help of our volunteers, who give their time in order to support our clients.
Clients like Jennifer who was not allowed to attend school as a child, she muddled through life until she walked into the Centre, two years after learning to read she describes herself as a voracious reader, a fan of the twilight saga. Katherine, another Yes We Can Read graduate was sent to a special group in a time when children with learning difficulties were labelled as ‘thick’, she was clear that’s how she was seen. When she attended the Centre she felt ashamed that her two children were fluent readers whilst she struggled. It took her a few months to start believing she would be able to read but once she did, it was inevitable she would be a reader.
Whilst we celebrate World Book Day, let us spend a moment thinking about those who have grown up without a skill we consider basic and let’s think about what we can do to help others conquer their fear.
Written by Yusuf Patel, Adult learning and Development Officer