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Target of £15,000 yet to be raised for children’s literacy hubs

By Michelle Monaghan

MP FOR PORTSMOUTH NORTH, Penny Mordaunt, is encouraging people to support The Literacy Hubs.

The Literacy Hubs strives to help young people to develop the literacy skills they need to flourish. The Literacy Hubs do this by collaborating with local communities to create a range of literacy hubs across the area. Every hub is different as they are tailored to meet the literacy needs of the communities they are in. However, it’s struggling due to rising costs impacting both schools and funding contributions. 

Mordaunt said: “Many Portsmouth children, from disadvantaged backgrounds, are behind in their literacy levels; this has been exacerbated as a result of the pandemic. If children go into secondary school with reduced levels of literacy, their options to study a full curriculum are reduced.

The Literacy Hubs addresses these issues by supporting children, age 8-12 as they work on fun projects, in an exciting environment, away from school. The results are excellent and children improve their literacy skills by up to three years in a nine-month programme.

The charity currently needs your/our support with funding to continue with this fantastic programme.”

There are two hubs in Portsmouth. The Pompey Pirates was launched in September 2020 at the Charles Dickens Ward and The Portsea Sailors located in the National Museum of the Royal Navy in the Historic Dockyard. 

The programmes offered at the hubs are vital to ensuring that children have the key skills in literacy that they need for the future, and it could not be more urgent. The Portsmouth City Council revealed that local children are struggling to achieve favourable development levels in literacy at the standard of the Early years foundation stage statutory framework (EYFS). The Council also acknowledged that Portsmouth’s most disadvantaged pupils were worse off than disadvantaged pupils nationwide. 

In addition to these troubling facts, The Literacy Hubs says that Portsmouth has some of the lowest literacy levels in the UK. A quarter of children live in poverty. Children from low-income backgrounds are more likely to fall below set reading and writing levels by age 11. 

Founder of The Literacy Hubs Becca Dean MBE says, “Literacy underpins everything and all of those skills fundamental to succeeding in life … we’re different to after-school clubs or interventions where children might get pulled out of lessons and feel uncomfortable.”

The Portsmouth Education Partnership (PEP) also lists literacy development as a high priority. The PEP’S Education Strategy 2020-2023 states: “Improve pupil outcomes in literacy (reading, writing and oral) with a focus on early language development.” 

Therefore, the fantastic work of The Literacy Hubs must continue so that children can continue to grow in their literacy development so they can have a brighter future. Only £4,877 has been raised so far, and the charity hopes to raise over £15,000. 

To donate, please visit the crowd funder page:

You can find out more about The Literacy Hubs work by visiting:

PICTURED BY JOSH APPLEGATE ON UNSPLASH: Toddler girl reading a book at vehicle backseat.