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Published 25th May 2018

north east children enjoy reading

The National Literacy Trust, the charity leading the Read North East campaign, has released new research which shows that almost three quarters (72%) of children aged 8 to 11 in the North East enjoy reading.

The initial findings are taken from the National Literacy Trust’s Annual Literacy Pupil Survey of more than 49,000 children and young people across the country.

While an encouraging number of the region’s children read for enjoyment, the findings suggest there is work to do to inspire more regular reading. Just 40% of pupils aged 8 to 11 in the North East say that they read something every day outside class, which compares to 48% of their peers nationally in England.

The findings also show a gap between the reading habits and attitudes of boys and girls:

• Fewer boys than girls aged 8 to 11 in the North East say that they enjoy reading (69% vs. 78%).
• Just a third of boys (33%) read something daily outside class, compared to 47% of girls.

Read North East is a campaign from the North East Literacy Forum, which promotes reading for enjoyment to help raise literacy levels. In six months, Read North East has gifted over 6,000 books to families to inspire reading at home, which were generously donated by campaign partner Penguin Random House. Book giveaways have been held at locations including Middlesbrough FC and Sunderland AFC, using the power of football to motivate boys in particular to enjoy reading and close the gender gap.

The giveaways respond to research which shows that children who say they own a book are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age than their peers who don’t own a book and are four times less likely to read below the expected level.

Clare Argar, Head of Community Campaigns at the National Literacy Trust said:

“It is great to see that so many children across the North East enjoy reading. This is testament to the fantastic work of our North East Literacy Forum partners including Seven Stories, New Writing North, SCHOOLS NorthEast, and the brilliant library services across the region.

“We know that children who enjoy reading and read more frequently do better at school, which in turn helps them to fulfil their potential and succeed in life. We are looking forward to working with partners to deliver more projects and events in the North East as part of the campaign, inspiring children across the region to fall in love with books and reading.”

Find out more about Read North East at www.readnortheast.org.uk.



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