THROUGHOUT September, Rotary in Northwich has been donating dictionaries to local schools as part of a UK wide Rotary project, Dictionaries4Life.
The aim of the project is to improve access to literacy and learning, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the learning of children and young people on an unprecedented scale.
It has also magnified the pre-existing inequalities in access to meaningful literacy learning opportunities.
Youth literacy was absent in many initial national response plans, while numerous literacy programmes have been forced to halt their usual modes of operation.
The pandemic, however, is a reminder of the critical importance of literacy. Beyond its intrinsic importance as part of the right to education, literacy empowers individuals and improves their lives by expanding their capabilities to choose a kind of life they can value.
Rupert Adams President of Northwich Rotary Club explained: “We’ve donated dictionaries to local schools for many years but this year the project is even more important as Covid-19 highlights social divides and inequalities in access to learning resources.
“We chose to deliver the dictionaries during September to recognise UNESCO’s International Literacy Day (September 8) which had the aim of ‘leaving no one behind’.”
The photograph shows Rupert delivering dictionaries to Leftwich Community Primary School where students Bethany and Matthew, along with their librarian teacher Mrs Akers, read on.
Mrs Akers said: “In a world where the digital divide can be so marked access to printed books can make a real difference and dictionaries in particular help children develop independence and confidence as well as promoting books and the printed word.
“We really appreciate the gift, thank you Rotary in Northwich.”