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Project information

Community Literacy Lab for disadvantaged children

Through our Community Literacy Lab, disadvantaged children who are struggling with their literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking & listening) will be able to access our specialist, one-to-one support. With literacy skills vital to life, our Lab could make a huge difference.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: The Children's Literacy Charity

The Children's Literacy Charity logo
  • Need


    Last year, 1 in 3 children from disadvantaged backgrounds left primary school without being able to read well. Literacy skills underpin success in all areas of life. Failing to master these skills early on can devastating consequences for a child. Because they lack self-esteem and confidence, they are more likely to truant from school, less likely to find employment and more likely to turn to crime. Research shows that early intervention can turn this around.


    Our Community Literacy Lab will offer specialist one-to-one support for primary-aged children in an area of high deprivation, tackling the problem early. Support will be tailored to individual children and delivered by our skilled literacy tutors. The affirming relationship between tutor and child within a secure environment paves the way for learning. Additional support will be given by dedicated volunteers. We also work closely with parents, advising them how they can support their child.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To narrow or close the literacy gap of 20 disadvantaged children.


    » We will assess each child using recognised assessment tools to determine gaps in reading, comprehension and spelling, helping to guide our delivery.
    » Highly experienced literacy tutors will provide 30 minutes of focused one-to-one support per week using our multi-sensory and phonics-based approach.
    » Trained volunteers will provide 30 minutes of one-to-one support sharing stories and games to develop literacy skills through experiential learning.

    What success will look like

    We will assess a child's reading, comprehension and spelling upon referral and throughout the intervention. We will also assess their confidence levels pre- and post-intervention.

  • Impact


    We will help children develop life-changing literacy skills enabling them to attain their potential and aspire to wider educational and career goals. The children we support will gain the self-confidence required to achieve. This will be demonstrated via the literacy gains made and through the use of case studies and comments from children, their parents/carers and our literacy tutors. Our research shows that the children we support maintain their literacy progress 18-months post-intervention.


    In order for this project to be successful, we will need to engage parents so they sign-up and bring their child each week. We will do this by working closely with schools and community groups to build relationships with parents. We will then make clear the expectations to parents on sign-up and communicate with them throughout so they feel informed about how we are benefiting their child. We will also involve parents by sharing tips on how to support their child's literacy learning at home.


    We will keep our donors up-to-date via impact reports, newsletters, social media and information published on our website. We will also invite interested parties to visit our Community Literacy Lab to see the work in progress.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,138 Central Office Costs Project management costs for this brand-new Community Literacy Lab.
      £17,862 Direct Project Costs 20 children will have access to one-to-one interventions over a school year.
  • Background


    Our Community Literacy Lab will be located in a deprived area of London. Most of the areas we work in are in the top 10%-20% of deprived areas of the country according to the Indices of Deprivation. In 2016-2017, 90% of the children we worked with either received Free School Meals or Pupil Premium, had a Special Educational Need or spoke English as an Additional Language (which can be a barrier when coupled with deprivation). Our Lab would serve an area where these issues are a factor.


    Our Community Literacy Lab will have places for 12 disadvantaged children (per week). Should these children make accelerated progress and graduate from the Lab early, we will use the space to support further children and we anticipate supporting 20 children via this project. Added value will come to the wider community through the building of links with community groups and families. Parents will be closely involved with their children's learning and given strategies to support them at home.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Delivering one-to-one literacy support early on is effective. For example, last year children who graduated from our one-to-one Literacy Lab made average gains of over 25 months in their reading and comprehension age. 92% narrowed their reading gap and 50% closed their reading gap completely. 87% narrowed their comprehension and 57% closed it completely. We have 26 years' experience of delivering Literacy Labs and this year successfully launched our first four Community Literacy Labs.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Adam Wisden

    Community Literacy Lab Project Manager

    Alex Charalambous

    Head of Educational Development


£40 will be DOUBLED to £80, that's 1 month of one-to-one specialist teaching.

“Majid used to close the book when he got to a word that he found difficult. With the encouragement of his tutor, he’s learnt to persevere.”

Ahlam, mother to 7-year-old Majid who comes to our Community Literacy Lab.