Literacy is a key factor for the future success of children throughout the world. Even in developed countries, it’s important that literacy and numeracy rates are supported and increased each year to allow children to reach their full potential.
Countries with established education systems often rely on those systems to support literacy development. However, regimented learning in a “one size fits all” classroom environment doesn’t work for every child. Additionally, most literacy studies suggest that the key factor in children’s literacy attainment is their home environment, which is why inconsistencies are often seen as indicators of inequality.
The Scottish government, currently led by the Scottish National Party, is promoting a campaign that aims to remove some of that inequality by providing books and learning materials as gifts for youngsters in the first years of school. In partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Book Trust, the scheme hopes to show families ways to interact with their children to grant the gift of a lifelong love of learning, as well as providing the physical tools required for the job.
The program was triggered by the Scottish Survey of Literacy 2014, which showed a drop in overall standards of literacy among some age groups. It is a continuation of a previous Scottish program for children and their families, PlayTalkRead, which encouraged parents to play, talk, and read with their children more frequently. Read, Write, Count focuses on slightly older children, and its proponents hope to get parents more involved in their children’s education.
Championing literacy and parental involvement in developed countries is important, and it’s good news that the Scottish government is taking the decrease in its children’s skills seriously. But children in many developing countries have even fewer chance to access books and learn these vital skills.