Liverpool City of Readers is launched

Liverpool Learning Partnership’s City of Readers project to transform Liverpool into the UK’s foremost reading city has been officially launched.

The project developed out of Mayor Joe Anderson’s pledge to improve education standards and ensure that no child, if able, leaves primary school unable to read. The Reader Organistation are key partners in the project, and Founder and Director of The Reader Organisation, Jane Davis, has been appointed by Liverpool Learning Partnership to run the campaign alongside her current role. City of Readers aims to raise the profile of reading in the city and developing a new generation of readers.

Children from Springwood Heath and St Christopher’s primary schools enjoyed stories and crafts at the launch event, alongside Cllr Lana Orr, Cabinet Member for Reading, and representatives from the project’s media partners, Liverpool Echo and Radio Mersesyside. Calderstones Mansion House was buzzing with reading activity, as alongside the launch event we also welcomed PGCE students from our Hope Readers project at Liverpool Hope University who were joined by children from local schools to enjoy some shared reading and get passionate about books.

The importance of reading to a child’s development has never been so clear, with a recent study from the Institute of Education demonstrating that reading for pleasure is more important to a child’s social mobility than their parents’ education, and that those who read more perform better academically at maths as well as spelling and vocabulary.

Jane said:

“Reading simply for enjoyment is so important to a child’s development and a wonderful activity to share with others. We need everyone in Liverpool to act as role models for our children, reading at home, reading in schools and reading in the community.

City of Readers is asking individuals and organisations to ‘Give Us Five’ towards the project, whether joining the Echo’s campaign pledging to read an extra five minutes a day, donating £5 towards an event, or volunteering for five hours a week.

Together we can make Liverpool a City of Readers. ”

The Give Us Five campaign is central to the first year of activity and the first pledge was given by our patron and local writer Frank Cottrell Boyce. He has offered 5000 words through the writing of a brand new book for the project which will appear in installments on the City of Readers website from June. Members of the public will be invited to send in sound recordings which reflect Liverpool to inspire each installment, before the book is finally unveiled at The Reader’s Penny Readings in December.

Liverpool Echo is calling for people to spend a minimum of five more minutes a day reading – adding up to a grand total of five million more minutes across the city in a single year. You can sign up to the Echo pledge here.

If you’d like to Give Us Five or find out more about the City of Readers project, visit www.cityofreaders.org.

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