British explorer and author Levison Wood is championing a Bedford-based charity's pledge to support more primary school children with their reading skills.
The Race For Reading campaign - run by children's literacy charity Schoolreaders - aims to raise funds to help more youngsters.
Before the pandemic, one in four children left primary school with poor literacy skills and school closures have worsened this situation considerably. According to a Government estimate reported in the SundayTimes an estimated one in three children is expected to be go from primary to secondary school this year unable to read well.
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Levison Wood said: “I believe that education is crucial to the nation’s wellbeing and future and ought to be of the utmost priority, especially now after the devastating effects of Covid lockdowns.”
Jane Whitbread, founder of Schoolreaders, added: “We are so grateful to Levison for his support with our Race For Reading campaign.
"Before the initial lockdown almost 13,000 children were receiving a one-to-one reading support session every week from a Schoolreaders volunteer, and our service is needed more than ever because so many children have fallen behind and need help catching up on vital reading skills.
"Children need to learn to read in order to read to learn."
The charity is hoping to encourage as many people as possible to join the Race For Reading virtual journey around the world.
Participants can undertake a sponsored challenge of any form such as running, walking, cycling, swimming or even walking a dog to help achieve a collective virtual circumnavigation of the globe (25,000 miles) in 80 days.
To find out more about the campaign, visit here