Urge for Doncaster Council to re-think demise of reading scheme please

It is with much sadness we hear of the demise of the "Dolly Parton Foundation Reading Scheme" for young children. This is such a retrograde step for this area where there are some of the lowest attainment levels of literacy in the country.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 12:48 pm
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 12:54 pm
Dolly Parton's reading foundation scheme is to be scrapped

It is with much sadness we hear of the demise of the "Dolly Parton Foundation Reading Scheme" for young children. This is such a retrograde step for this area where there are some of the lowest attainment levels of literacy in the country.

This action is aimed at the most vulnerable children who benefit the most from this scheme.

The two young children living next door thoroughly enjoy these books time and time again. The 18-month-old little boy loves the bright colours, the designs, sturdy pages, flaps to lift, clearly presented words: the cleverly designed books to stir the imagination. The familiarity brings smiles to their faces.

As retired English teachers, we know all too well the early interest in books, words, sounds, rhythm and all forms of literacy are such an important foundation.

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We urge you to reconsider as this decision has clearly been taken by under-informed adults who are clearly not fully aware of the literacy problems in this area. Also, it appears the decision was taken on a purely monetary basis - the savings for the council will be minimal compared to the likely damage to some of the most vulnerable in our society. This subsidised scheme does help rectify one of the major problems of illiteracy in this area, the young families and children benefit enormously.

Many families do not have access to high-quality books such as those provided, many do not have other books in the household and access to books is limited due to library closures.

We strongly urge you and those involved to think again and reverse the decision before the damage begins.

Joan and Paul Jackson

DN12