Evening Standard's £1m London literacy campaign goes national

The Evening Standard’s Get London Reading literacy campaign has other regional newspapers, including the Yorkshire Evening Post, to launch copycat projects across the UK.

The Standard began its campaign earlier this year after an investigation by campaigns editor and chief features writer David Cohen revealed that one in four children in the city left school unable to read and write properly.

It saw the paper recruited 473 mentors who helped 1,419 children in 269 schools, winning praise from the EU, Ofsted and London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Now the paper reports that imitation schemes are being rolled out across the UK from Essex to Leeds.

The Standard raised more than £1m for literacy charity Beanstalk to recruit and train reading mentors for schoolchildren. Its CEO Sue Porto said that next month a Get Leeds Reading campaign will be launched modelled directly on the Standard scheme, in partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post.

She said: “These new schemes are all really exciting and are all inspired by the Get London Reading campaign.

“After the success of Get London Reading I sent a letter to all the newspaper groups in the areas where we work saying we would be delighted to run something similar.

“As a result of that the Evening Post got in touch. That is how this idea was born.”

More than 1,000 children left primary school unable to read last summer, and the campaign is hoping build on the nearly 40 people in Leeds currently volunteering in schools with Beanstalk, helping 120 children.

It hopes to double the figures within three months.

The Standard said there are also discussions about launching a similar project in Northampton and Kent Reading scheme.

Yesterday, the Standard’s campaign broke through the £1m thanks to a £500,000 investment by the Mayor’s Fund for London.

 

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