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Encourage an adult to learn to read in Preston this World Book Day

Posted on - 3rd March, 2022 - 1:11pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Charities, Education, Preston News
Books stacked up in a Preston charity book shop Pic: Paul Melling
Books stacked up in a Preston charity book shop Pic: Paul Melling

Local charity Read Easy Preston is using World Book Day 2022 to encourage adults who struggle to read to come forward and ask for help.

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They are asking people who know of friends and family members who cannot read, to pass on the Read Easy Preston phone number, and encourage them to make a call that could transform their lives.

World Book Day, which takes place today, March 3, aims to inspire children to read for pleasure and read together with their families. But parents and grandparents who cannot read are not able to provide this support for their children and their learning, with many missing out on the important bonding time that comes with sharing a bedtime story.

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The recent BBC1 documentary ‘Jay Blades: Learning to Read at 51’ followed The Repair Shop presenter and dad Jay Blades as he learnt to read with Read Easy. Like many other parents who struggle to read, Jay had never been able to read his children bedtime stories. The highlight of the documentary was when Jay reached his goal of being able to read his teenage daughter one of her favourite childhood books.

There are 25,000 thousand adults in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble who, like Jay, struggle to read. For them, everyday tasks such as booking a doctor’s appointment, reading road signs or doing the food shopping can be incredibly challenging.

Read Easy Preston, which celebrates its first anniversary next week, offers free and confidential, one-to-one coaching, from trained volunteers. Coaches and learners meet twice a week at approved local venues across Preston, Chorley and South Ribble, or online, to work for just half an hour at a time through a structured, phonics-based reading programme.

Read Easy Preston’s Team Leader, Rachel Coupe, says those who struggle to read should not feel embarrassed about coming forward and asking for help: “There are lots of different reasons why people don’t learn to read in childhood. For some it may have been a lack of support from their own family or school, for others it may have been undiagnosed dyslexia.

“But people should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. We are friendly, welcoming and here to help, whatever your age.”

Johnathan is one of Read Easy’s success stories. He started the Read Easy programme in 2020 when the country went into lockdown. He found it frustrating not being able to help his children with home-schooling. Now, he can read with his family, enjoys reading novels and has a new-found confidence in himself and in the future.

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He said: “More than anything I want to know I have achieved something in life and to show my kids that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

“Most importantly, I want to see the smiles on their faces when I read to them. It’s such a massive achievement for me and nothing makes me happier.”

Read Easy Preston are also looking for volunteers to enable them to help more adults in the area.

For more information about learning to read with Read Easy Preston, please contact Rachel Pearson on 07710 696416 or prestoncoordinator@readeasy.org.uk

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