Hastings Opportunity Area launches Hub with National Literacy Trust
In 2016, more than half of disadvantaged pupils (54%) in Hastings left primary school unable to read at the expected level. These challenges continue at secondary school – 65% of pupils achieved a grade C or above in English in 2016, dropping to less than half for disadvantaged pupils (48%).
We are supporting the National Literacy Trust to set up a Literary Hub in Hastings. The Hub will work with local businesses, health, education and cultural organisations to run a wide range of initiatives directly engaging with children and young people, and will also work across the community to promote the importance of literacy and encourage families to make reading, writing and talking a part of everyday life.
Literacy Hubs have been set up in other areas which face literacy challenges, and have been proven to be very successful in effecting improved results.
Local people can become ‘Literary Champions’
The National Literacy Trust’s first campaign is ‘Literacy Champions’, an initiative which trains volunteers to run their own innovative projects with children and families to encourage reading, writing and communication. In other areas, this initiative has had a significant impact – in Bradford, over fifty local people were trained to run regular activities over a year.
By working with the community, the scheme gives individual people the simple tools and training needed to engage with groups of children and young people, improving their literacy and making a lasting impact on their education and lives.
The initiative aims to engage 60 Literacy Champions within two years, targeted in areas of Hastings identified as having the lowest literacy levels.
The Literacy Hub is currently working with community partners, schools and colleges to identify the most effective strategies for Hastings. The Hub aims to:
- Recruit at least 60 Literacy Champions over two years who will inspire their local communities to engage in literacy activities and increase access to literacy support
- Build valuable partnerships with organisations across the town who will champion literacy and reach local communities
- Raise awareness of the importance of literacy and encourage families to make reading, writing and talking a part of everyday life
- Engage more people in literacy-focused events and initiatives
- Secure high profile media coverage in order to drive participation in Hub activities and garner additional support from local organisations