MP Steve Barclay celebrates successful 4th year of Read to Succeed with £18,000 of donated books handed to every Year 4 & 5 child in NE Cambs
- Credit: Archant
Now in its fourth year, the Read to Succeed initiative spearheaded by NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay is set to enjoy its best year.
He has been busy fund raising to help to ensure books can be supplied to thousands of school children across his constituency. Donations and fund raising this year ensured he could buy £18,000 worth of books for distribution.
"My campaigned aimed to raise enough money to buy a new reading book for every Year 4 child in North East Cambridgeshire," he said.
The initiative, supported by the Bishop of Ely, teachers, businesses and community groups, ensures that every Year 4 child in North East Cambridgeshire could have a new book to take home and keep before the school summer holidays.
He said this year group was chosen because it is the age at which children often begin to read more independently.
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"I first ran this campaign in 2016 after a number of teachers raised the issue that many children fail to make progress in their literacy skills during the summer holiday, when they are out of school," he said.
"Read to Succeed aims to help combat this. In the back of every book donated is a library token which each child can take to their local library and take part in the Reading Agency's Summer Reading Challenge."
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In 2017, libraries saw a 51 per cent increase in children participating in the summer reading challenge as a result of the scheme.
"Thanks to the kind donations from local businesses and the community, enough money was raised to buy 2500 books - one for every year 4 and year 5 child in the constituency," he said.
Mr Barclay said the challenge encourages children to read six books of their choice throughout the school summer holiday and once completed, children will receive a medal and a certificate at an awards ceremony.
He added: "But this is not all, as part of my Read to Succeed Campaign there are also prizes on offer for the schools with the most children who complete the summer reading challenge."
Mr Barclay began the campaign after a visit to a local primary school when he was told that reading levels dropped during the six-week holiday.
2015 - 2017 Year 4 books for all of North East Cambs.
2018 Year 4 and some Year 5 pupils.
2019 Year 4 and Year 5 all had books.
He said: "The book that the children have been given counts as the first book in the libraries summer reading challenge.
"In the four years of the campaign has distributed over 8000 books for pupils in NE Cambs."
Mr Barclay said: "Thanks to the huge generosity of our local community we have over £18,000 worth of books to distribute local schools. A record year for Read to Succeed!
"This year every pupil in Year 4 as well as Year 5 will receive a free book. I would encourage every pupil to use their Golden Pass and take part in the summer reading challenge at local libraries.
"Thanks once again to all the organisations and individuals who have donated this year to make it our most successful year yet!"
Matt Parsonage, head of communities at Clarion Futures said: "Read to Succeed is an inspiring local project and Clarion Futures is happy to be offering our support for another year.
"We exist to provide opportunities for our residents and there is nothing more important than giving children the opportunity to learn and help them to maximise their potential."
A Fenmarc spokesman said: "We are delighted to support the Read to Succeed campaign. We are a large employer in the Wisbech area and many of our colleagues have young families, so we appreciate how important it is to encourage children to read."
A Fraser Dawbarns spokesman said: "We believe that Read to Succeed is a fantastic cause and we are delighted to be supporting this campaign again."