Glasgow Caledonian University's multi-award winning widening participation and community engagement initiative, the Caledonian Club, has secured funding from the Scottish Children's Lottery to support its targeted literacy programme.
A donation of £28,500 will boost the Primary 2 Literacy Programme, which is now in its fourth year and works with selected pupils to help improve literacy levels as well as confidence and enjoyment in reading.
The Club, which is recognised by Universities UK as one of the nation's best university breakthrough initiatives, recognises that literacy skills in particular are fundamental in providing young people with the best platform from which to engage fully with learning as well as being essential in every day work and life.
Since its launch, the P2 Literacy Programme has worked with over 120 pupils. Sessions are led by trained Literacy Mentors who are undergraduate students or alumni of the University. Literacy Mentors visit pupils at school, delivering one-to-one paired reading and working with small groups of pupils on phonics based lessons. Mentors work with the same pupils each week and aim to build a positive and supportive relationship that encourages engagement with learning. Teachers in the Club's partner schools have witnessed positive behaviour changes in pupils as well as greater confidence and enthusiasm for literacy based tasks in the classroom.
Nathan Tagg, Manager of the Caledonian Club, said feedback from partner schools and pupils has been positive and the project's benefits go beyond the educational gains. "The sessions focus on storytelling and the joy of reading to encourage engagement in learning. The one key takeaway, above and beyond the impact on their actual reading ability, is the confidence that pupils get from taking part in the project."
Jillian Watt, Director of the University's Foundation, which raises funds to provide a variety of educational opportunities, said: "We are extremely grateful to Scottish Children's Lottery for this generous donation. Its support will help to deepen one of our core outreach projects that is focused on addressing one of the biggest barriers in pupil attainment today – literacy skills."
Michelle Kinnaird is trustee of Chance to Study, which operates as a society lottery under the Scottish Children's Lottery. Chance to Study supports projects which aim to improve children's education through their school years and into young adulthood, and ensure that all young people in Scotland have the opportunity to learn, develop and fulfil their potential.
Michelle said: "Chance to Study believes that every child, no matter their background, should be able to maximise all the opportunities open to them during their school life, gaining the knowledge and experience that will help them take their place in society.
"I am delighted that this grant will support the valuable work of Glasgow Caledonian University. Thank you to those who play the Scottish Children's Lottery - you are helping to support the great work that our charities undertake."
The Scottish Children's Lottery was launched in October 2016 to raise money for children in Scotland, with proceeds helping to improve the lives of children right across the country and make a real difference to those who need it most.