Essex Library Service partners with National Literacy Trust to help children get ready for school
ACL Essex / Sat 28th Jan 2023 at 11:12am
ESSEX Library Service has partnered with the National Literacy Trust to introduce new support for families, aimed at preparing young children to start Primary School.The Library Service’s ‘Community Connectors’ will work directly with families, Early Years settings and partners across all library services, with a focus on the six priority areas identified in Essex County Council’s (ECC) Levelling Up strategy.
Community Connectors will support families to improve their literacy and encourage them to take part in new events and activities, such as author visits, which are designed to engage them in reading.
These individuals will also help to promote Essex Library Service to new users and increase the number of people joining their local library.
The aim is to help those who have been significantly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as increase the percentage of children aged five and younger who achieve the level of communication, language and literacy skills they need to start school.
The new initiative will also promote inclusivity, reduce disadvantage and support good levels of development in children’s early years.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, ECC’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnership and Performance, said: “The partnership with the National Literacy Trust is another great, new way that we are improving the offer of Essex Libraries.
“Starting Primary School is such an important milestone for young children and their families. By working together through schemes like this, we can help to reduce the disadvantage faced by some families in Essex and help to make school a positive experience for children so they can raise and achieve their aspirations.”
Cllr Beverley Egan, ECC’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Early Years, said: “Going to the library to find books to read with your child is a great way to help them to be school ready and supporting them to make good progress in those critical early years.”
The new partnership is aligned to the Essex Year of Reading campaign which continues to help people of all ages discover a lifelong love of reading, and which will run during the early part of 2023.
Reading is key to being able to access other areas of education, as well as career prospects in later life. Improving opportunities for families to increase their literacy skills is also aligned to ECC’s commitments in Everyone’s Essex.