Tackling poverty through literacy in Kent
KM Charity Team have 19 years’ experience working with primary and secondary schools in Kent, tackling literacy issues affecting children and young people. Their primary aim is to bring about a change in lifestyle choices, with an emphasis on health and improved reading and writing skills.
Their studies found that one in two homeless people lacks basic English skills and that subsequently poor literacy impacts across work, health, keeping a home and positive relationships. With a view to preventing poverty in an indirect manner the ‘Bookbinders’ project was developed in partnership with a local homeless charity. The basic premise was to encourage former homeless people to read.
The project was very successful with 271 people attending 128 separate Bookbinders sessions in 14 separate groups which doubled their previous year’s figures. They understood from initial discussions with participants that the majority were not previously regular readers or had stopped completely and so the project helped re-engage the participants with reading as a pastime and a skill.