Universitys largest endowment is helping transform literacy in Glasgow

30 June 2016

Caledonian Club mentors launch the project

Caledonian Club mentors launch the project

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is transforming children’s literacy across the city with the support of its largest single endowment.

The University’s flagship widening participation and community engagement project, the Caledonian Club, is working with P2 pupils at five city primary schools to improve reading and writing skills after the Bill and Margaret Nicol Charitable Trust donated £675,000 to GCU. The literacy project has been awarded £450,000 and £225,000 will fund scholarships.

 Mr Nicol was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by GCU in 1995 in recognition of his work as a governor of a GCU founding institution and his service to the University Court.

The five-year Literacy and Attainment programme targets two key areas that are preventing very young pupils meeting their potential – poor literacy levels and a lack of tailored tuition to support students who are experiencing the greatest challenges. Caledonian Club  mentors, drawn from the GCU student body, work with pupils twice a week, leading sessions in phonics, drama, digital literacy and reading.

 Zoe Chatterton, Caledonian Club Development Officer, said: “The incredibly generous support of the Trust has been a game changer for the award-winning Caledonian Club and will benefit Club members and GCU students for years to come. The impact our project is making is already evident. Head teachers are reporting increased confidence, engagement and communication skills in the children we are working with and the children are beginning to fully participate in a safe and encouraging environment.”

Jill Watt, Director of the Glasgow Caledonian University Foundation, said: “As the University for the Common Good, GCU is committed to transforming lives through education. We are extremely grateful to the Bill and Margaret Nicol Charitable Trust, which shares so many of GCU’s values, for support in our crucial work with some of Glasgow’s youngest learners.”