ATS supplier Jobtrain, along with a number of other organisations, is supporting the Children's poet Laureate Cressida Cowell's Life Changing libraries project to level the playing field for underprivileged children whose reading opportunities have been worst hit by the pandemic. The company believes that investing at this young age will help to ignites children’s creativity and learning and so build a better future for themselves
One in eight primary schools has no library facility at all and this initiative will work with six schools across the country to create library spaces stocked with around a 1000 books. The scheme is also providing Tonieboxes (a child friendly, portable speaker to listen to stories on) to each school involved in the pilot project with plans to support a proposed nationwide roll-out in the future.
Cressida Cowell MBE, Waterstones Children’s Laureate, has written an open letter to the government to increase the number of books available to primary school children in the poorest communities, helping to bridge the gap of their opportunities for success in later life based on OECD findings. In the open letter Cressida states:
‘Millions of children, particularly those from the poorest communities worst hit by the pandemic, are missing out on opportunities to discover the life-changing magic of reading – one that OECD research suggests is a key indicator in a child’s future success. How can a child become a reader for pleasure if their parents or carers cannot afford books, and their primary school has no library, or that library is woefully insufficient?"
Chris Keeling, Founder and CEO of Jobtrain said, "We wanted to help the youngest age group to help maximise their career and work potential in later life. Based on the OECD research supporting an installation of decent libraries in primary schools with access to books is a great start and the Tonieboxes and audio books are a great way to get children interested in reading at an early age.
"Joseph Addison, the co-founder of The Spectator magazine, once said ‘reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body’. As an organisation, we want to do everything we can to help give primary school children the opportunity to explore their imaginations and create worlds for themselves that they may not always see as possible. We hope other companies within the recruitment and technology sector will get involved at a local level in supporting this goal."