February 8, 2016, by Words on Words

Love Reading? Get Involved in the UoN Read On Get On Campaign!

This blog post was written by final year student, Katie Randall, from the School of English.

There are many opportunities available as an English student at the University of Nottingham, one of which is the option to take part in the Nottingham Advantage Award. Although the Award is open to all students at the university and relevant to a large range of disciplines, I chose to complete two of the modules specifically tailored for English students: Career Skills for English Students and Peer Mentoring. Both have been really useful in helping me to develop a variety of skills, from perfecting my CV to simply building up my confidence in certain situations; for example a mock assessment centre, which otherwise I would never have had the opportunity to experience!

Save the Children Logo

This term, however, I have decided to branch out and participate in a module that is not so course specific – that is, the Save the Children Enterprise module. Starting a few weeks ago, everyone was given a choice either to put on a fundraiser or back a Save the Children campaign. Coincidentally, this year’s proposed campaign has turned out to be particularly relevant to my studies, and also close to my heart. The Read On. Get On. Campaign encourages literacy in early years education, and, as an English student, reading is obviously one of my passions. So, I was deeply shocked when I learnt that 1 in 5 children fall behind in their language skills before they even reach school, and that the language development of children from lower income families can be up to 15 months behind that of children from higher-income families. I hadn’t thought that the difference between the two social demographics would be quite so vast, and clearly this is a major issue within our society that needs to be resolved.

Read On Get On Campaign Logo

This is why the Read On. Get On. Campaign is so important. As students at the University of Nottingham, we are privileged to have access to higher education, and we should use our influence to make education accessible to those who face greater obstacles to it and its associated opportunities. The campaign aims to have all children aged 11 in the UK ‘reading well’ by 2025, which really shouldn’t be too much to ask from a society as developed as ours. By asking local MPs to talk about the importance of early years education in parliament, hopefully we can start to make changes so that every child has equal access to education, and thus equal access to opportunities in the future.

Read On Get On

You can support the campaign by liking the Facebook page UoN READ ON. GET ON. and by following the campaign on Twitter @UoN_ReadOnGetOn. If you really want to help make a change, why not tweet a picture of you with your favourite children’s book using the hashtag #ReadOnGetOn, and sign the petition to get MPs talking about the importance of early years literacy here: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/reading/sign-our-petition

Katie Randall

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