According to reports England currently ranks 23rd out of 23 OECD nations for teenage literacy. We are the only OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) nation where the literacy of 16-24 year olds is below that of people aged 55 and over.
There has also been research done by the National Literacy Trust which suggest children who are born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England.
With such alarming statistics, Block Books aims to help facilitate change by making literature more accessible and engaging. The narrative is often, young people just don’t like reading. From my experience working with young people, the barrier to reading is simply down to the fact, that they haven’t come across a book or author they can relate to, yet. With this being said, each month we’ll be working with our curated list of authors to provide 100 free books to young people in some of the most socially neglected neighbourhoods across London and beyond.
1 in 8 disadvantaged children in the UK say that they don’t have a book of their own.
Children who say they have a book of their own are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age than their peers who don’t own a book (28.8% vs 1.9%)
Literacy and life expectancy
A boy born in Stockton Town Centre (an area with serious literacy challenges) has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy born in North Oxford (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges).
What will your patronage be used for?
With your financial support Block Books will be able to do two things that I believe would enable it to have a successful campaign.
DOUBLE R. (Relatable Reading) .
As part of my initiative to make literature not only accessible but engaging, the strategy is to correlate particular months to particular demographics.
So far I’ve been focused on providing literature to young men, however moving forward there will be months dedicated to young women & children.
2. SUSTAINING CREATIVE WORK.
It is already hard in the publishing world as it is. Although I am open to book suggestions, your patronage not only ensures the right books are picked but that the authors are compensated for their work.
3. IT PAYS TO READ……LITERALLY
Lastly, your patronage will go towards creating an incentive system, whereby young people can upload their book reviews via email or social media in exchange for cash giveaways, free vouchers (JD sports, footlocker etc) and prizes.
Make a Donation
Become a patron and help make a change on mind at a time!