Press release from The Reading Agency:
The Reading Agency announces new funding for libraries’ work with
disadvantaged young people.
Independent charity The Reading Agency is delighted to announce the
success of recent funding bids to support libraries’ work with young
people in 22 local authorities through its MyVoice programme. This
offers 34,500 disadvantaged young people new opportunities to engage
with reading and writing, and to work alongside library staff to shape
future provision over the next three years.
Reading Agency director Miranda McKearney says: ‘At a time of great
pressure on libraries, this is a heartening vote of confidence in
their vital community work.’
MyVoice young people’s programme supported by the Big Lottery:
The Big Lottery Fund’s Reaching Communities programme has awarded
£346,500 over three years to support 30,000 young people aged 11-19 to
get involved in their local branches and youth spaces by choosing
books for their peers, managing a budget, interviewing staff and
developing ideas online.
The goal is to encourage better life chances through a programme of
training and life skills development, building on research that shows
reading for pleasure improves people’s skills whilst increasing their
motivation to read and learn.
The Reading Agency will work with 20 library services in the North
West, London, South East and North East each year to deliver the
project, and will also develop young people’s local participation
through volunteering opportunities.
‘Young people will be supported to get involved in running activities
in their local libraries and youth spaces, develop ideas online,
choose books and help inspire other young people to read. With our
library partners, we’ll create 6,000 new volunteering opportunities
that will be part of accredited award schemes and support links into
employment and apprenticeships for young people in the areas of
creative writing and literacy,’ says Miranda McKearney.
MyVoice roadshows supported by Grants for the arts:
A new kind of roadshow forms one element of the national MyVoice
programme, and has received £86,500 from Grants for the arts. The
reading and writing roadshows are led by young people.
Events with a mixture of reading and writing workshops, exhibitions
and performances will take place from 23 – 30 July 2011 at five
different library venues in Weymouth, Great Yarmouth, St Helens,
Sunderland and Westminster, reaching 4,500 young people.
The roadshows will be programmed and promoted by disadvantaged young
people who would not normally engage with literature. They will learn
new digital, design and event management skills.
MyVoice digital reading clubs supported by The Rayne Foundation:
Rayne Foundation funding will create five digital reading clubs in
deprived areas. They are for socially excluded young people, including
those Not in Employment Education and Training (NEET). The clubs will
train young people in the production and editing of video and audio
and equip them to become reporters on reading and writing issues.
Miranda McKearney says: ‘We’re delighted by these awards to enable us
to launch MyVoice with our library partners. The programme is led by
young people and will unlock the joy of reading, and the life chances
that brings. It’s fantastic to have this funding to be able to
continue our vital work with young people, especially as the overall
funding situation remains so very uncertain. We will continue to push
for sustained investment in the life-changing opportunities that
libraries and reading offer”.