A new poll has revealed that two thirds (74 per cent) of people believe that reading is the most important life skill a child can learn.
The survey of 2,000 people ranked learning to read as more important than learning basic maths (52 per cent), how to manage finances (43 per cent), playing sport (nine per cent), and using electrical devices (seven per cent).
However, although learning to read is deemed the most important thing we’ll ever do, thousands of children still do not have any books at home. Recent research conducted by cartridgesave.co.uk revealed that one in 11 children in the UK have never owned a book.
This has led online cartridge retailer cartridgesave.co.uk, to launch a ‘Gift of Books’ campaign. The aim of the campaign is to reduce book poverty amongst 40,000 schoolchildren in Manchester with the help of local residents.
cartridgesave.co.uk’s research also suggests that learning how to read the printed word has a major impact on developing other abilities which are pivotal to success in later life with 83 per cent saying it had a positive impact on communication and writing skills.
Two in three (65 per cent) of those surveyed also stated that reading has allowed them to develop presentation skills, as well as be creative (59 per cent) and build relationships (56 per cent).
In England, the average hourly wage of workers with the highest levels of literacy is 94 per cent higher than workers who have the lowest levels of literacy, suggesting that these skills really are vital when entering the world of work.
The research also indicates that reading with the family is time to cherish as a little one with one in five stating that reading a bedtime story was their favourite childhood memory.
Those surveyed were also asked their favourite childhood books and the top 10 was:
- Famous Five
- The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
- The Secret Garden
- The BFG
- Faraway Tree
- The Hobbit
- Charlie and the Chocolate factory
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Charlotte’s Web
Ian Cowley, managing director of cartridgesave.co.uk added:
“Developing reading skills as early as possible is vital. Even in this age of emojis and Alexa, mastering the written word gives you a foundation to ensure you are equipped to tackle life. That is why it’s just wrong that there are still so many children living without books. We wanted to do something to change that in an area where book poverty is seriously impacting on people’s lives. The campaign has already seen thousands of books donated by schoolchildren from their own shelves, they are then encouraged to print out a note slip to say why they enjoyed the book so much. These are then redistributed by the National Literacy Trust to the areas of greatest need”