Michael in iNews: Children’s literacy is vital for the UK

Michael Morpurgo speaks to iNews about why children’s literacy is vital to stop the UK becoming ‘Trumpland’ – reported by Adam Sherwin

“For Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse and countless other best-sellers, encouraging children to develop a love of reading isn’t just vital for their personal development – our very democracy is at stake.

“There are millions of children leaving primary school who are not reading properly. If we fail to produce a literate, educated society we will face a huge problem,” he warns.

“Understanding stories helps us decipher the difference between truth and fiction and see through fake news in an ever-more complex world.”

“If a generation of people can’t do more than surf headlines then we are deep into Trumpland.”

A passionate advocate for the power of storytelling and a former Children’s Laureate, Morpurgo is ambassador for Coram Beanstalk, the national literacy charity which recruits and trains volunteer reading helpers.

Working with primary and secondary schools, the volunteers provide sustained one-to-one support for children who need extra help to improve their reading skills and confidence.

So far, 200,000 pupils have discovered the joy of reading through the scheme.

A primary school teacher before his literary career, Morpugo has penned more than a hundred stories designed to capture the imagination of a young audience.

War Horse, the story of a beloved horse, sold to the Cavalry and shipped to France at the outbreak of World War I, became a theatrical phenomenon and was turned into a Steven Spielberg film.

Too often though, a simple enjoyment of reading stories is sucked out in the classroom because of the demands placed on teachers.

“Every hour of school has to be justified by outcomes and this ridiculous curriculum,” Morpugo says.”

Read the full article here for more of Michael’s views on why children’s literacy is vital for the UK.

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