Cathedral celebration for literacy campaign

The Wakefield Express saw the culmination of its Read On literacy campaign which has been backed by Tony Blair and Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding.

The paper held an event at Wakefield Cathedral where 700 children and parents celebrated the end of Write On, a short story competition for children and teenagers.

The best 100 entries have been drawn together for an anthology which was given out on the day.

The campaign was launched in 2006, inspired by the alarming statistics that more than 1,700 adults in Wakefield cannot read and that nearly 20 per cent of Wakefield pupils fail to meet proper standards of English when starting secondary school.

The newspaper also organised a Wakefield Book Day in March that involved 30 schools across the city.

The paper’s campaign has also provided £10,000 worth of reading workbooks and texts for primary school leavers.

Express assistant editor Lisa Rookes said: ‘Have we succeeded in raising people’s awareness? We can’t say for definite.

‘But if we’ve inspired just one youngster to pick up a book or put pen to paper, or one adult to read a bedtime story to their child, then all our work has been worthwhile.”

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