Frank Field MP
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Birkenhead Mums 'get into Reading'

1
May
Friday was a return visit. I had already been to The Lauries to meet ‘Get into Reading’.
 
I met, yet again, a wonderful group of young people. All of them had an extraordinary tale to tell.
 
Some months ago I was invited to speak at the National Literacy Trust’s conference. The intention was to speak on the ‘foundation years’ report but the other speakers were so good that I stayed for most of the day.
 
The organisers asked the assembled company who couldn't knit. I was the only person to put up their hands.
 
The audience was then asked who were really good knitters. Practically every hand went up to proclaim their skills. Who can't knit very well produced a few hands.
 
At this point a huge ball of wool was produced. “Who will now teach Frank?” was asked.
 
For one horrible moment I thought I would be allocated to one of the brilliant knitters. As soon as I was told that I would be taught by a less-good knitter I relaxed and in no time I was knitting away.
 
This was the model that the National Literacy Trust scheme uses. As mums begin to read they help another mum. Like me with the knitting the new mum is put at ease because the person helping her isn't, yet, a smart aleck.
 
And so it was last Friday. The small group had transformed their lives by reading and were now all helping other people surmount the barriers they faced. Congratulations.
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