Project information

Community Literacy Labs for disadvantaged children

Disadvantaged primary aged children in London will receive the opportunity to close the gap in their literacy levels via our bespoke, one-to-one community based intervention delivered outside of schools hours. Our Literacy Labs are manned by highly experienced tutors and motivated volunteers.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: The Children's Literacy Charity (formerly Springboard for Children)

The Children's Literacy Charity (formerly Springboard for Children) logo
  • Need


    Illiteracy is having a devastating effect on the UK economy: 48% of prisoners have a reading age at or below that of an 11 year-old. Low literacy costs the UK economy an estimated £81 billion / year.

    1 in 5 pupils leave primary school every year without achieving age-related literacy levels, rising to 1 in 3 in urban areas. This means roughly 1.62 million children can't access the curriculum.

    To improve this we provide our literacy interventions to children at the earliest point possible.


    Community Literacy Labs use a blend of our professional, one-to-one interventions alongside our volunteer-led, multi-sensory, experiential learning approach. Parents are encouraged to bring their children to our after-school and Saturday morning sessions giving them the opportunity to achieve the literacy levels expected of their age. This new and innovative service will provide greater opportunities for children who really need the help to receive our high-quality literacy intervention.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Narrow the literacy gap for at least 24 disadvantaged children through two Literacy Labs in London.


    » Professional literacy tutors and skilled volunteers will provide disadvantaged children with one hour of high-quality, one-to-one tuition per week.

    Children who successfully graduate from our Community Literacy intervention will demonstrate reading and comprehension levels in-line with age-related expectations.

    Aim 2

    Offer parents the chance to give their children additional literacy tuition outside of school.


    » We will target the parents of children in the deprived areas of London we are providing our project within and who are most in need of our support.

    Our two Community Literacy Labs will provide support for at least 24 children every week. Our marketing will ensure parents/carers are fully aware of the difference we make.

  • Impact


    Children will demonstrate reading, writing, speaking and listening skills at levels expected for their age giving them the tools to confidently engage in their mainstream schooling whilst grasping the curriculum at the levels expected of them.

    Children graduating from our intervention have gone on to find success in many ways, from studying at university, to, running their own business. We not only develop literacy skills but help instill life-long confidence to disadvantaged children.


    Risks could include:
    - Spaces not being filled due to low take-up:
    Head Teaching Staff at the schools we're delivering our Community Literacy intervention in are fully on board with communicating our interventions to parents of children at the schools.
    - We will be having a big marketing drive in September to ensure parents of children in the local community are made fully aware of the impact The Children's Literacy Charity can have through our intervention.


    Donors will receive a 6-monthly progress report to show the impact of the difference we're making within the two Community Literacy Labs. Donors can also expect to be invited to the Literacy Lab to experience and witness, first-hand, the difference our work is making.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £26,977

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,600 Direct Programme costs Resources required to run both Community Literacy Centres
      £7,315 Programme Management Costs Cost of providing volunteers and professional literacy staff
      £10,062 Central Office Costs Management costs to set up and run the centres
  • Background


    Delivery will take place through two Community Literacy Labs in deprived areas of London such as Lambeth, Westminster and Southwark which have some of the highest child poverty levels in the country. The children we support will require our intervention to overcome the range of obstacles and barriers they face in achieving age-related literacy expectations. Barriers include: Special Educational Needs, poor educational attainment and confidence, and, English as an Additional Language.


    Children from the age of 5 upwards are entitled to attend our Community Literacy Labs to secure the life-changing support they need to thrive in life and achieve their full potential.

    Parents/carers will also benefit as they will get to experience and learn from the techniques involved in supporting a child to overcome their literacy difficulties. Many parents/carers will stay with children in our Literacy Labs to find out what they can do to augment and support our interventions at home.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have over 25 years' experience in changing children's lives through our one-to-one literacy interventions. Our qualified staff and dedicated volunteers are trained to deliver a standard of excellence in helping children achieve their potential through our literacy interventions. Our interventions have been fine-tuned over the last 25 years and are responsive to the needs of each individual child. We are the only charity that we are aware of delivering the entire range of literacy support.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Adam Wisden

    Community Literacy Lab Project Manager

    Carolyn Clarke

    Head of Educational Development

The First Child We Supported Through Our Intervention

"I wouldn't speak if asked a question. My mouth would move but nothing would come out...Now I feel I can actually do things. The support I received from The Children's Literacy Charity gave me a life-changing experience."

David, former Literacy Lab pupil