Bumper budget for reading will help secure our literacy legacy

Witney Gazette: Bumper budget for reading will help secure our literacy legacy Bumper budget for reading will help secure our literacy legacy

THERE’S nothing quite like a good book. So the announcement that £500,000 is to be forked out to keep the reading campaign is, of course, good news.

It will benefit hundreds of youngsters and should lead to wider knock-on improvements elsewhere.

How the council managed to find the cash at a time when it is making serious cuts to its budget is unclear.

But few who know anything about the scheme will quibble.

Headteachers say its links to improvements in reading levels are clear.

Perhaps the real question is why other areas do not have it – but that is not for us to worry about.

In a county with grand historic links with books and with writers, there is something fitting about the campaign’s success.

As more and more young people turn to iPhone apps and Xbox games, it is reassuring to think that in this county youngsters are still enjoying reading.

What happens next will be interesting.

Will new schools benefit? Will new schemes be introduced? And will literacy improvements keep going up?

There are many imponderables, but clearly there is a groundswell of feeling to make this scheme work.

The Oxford Mail has backed it – and with reason.

Reading, to state the obvious, is a vital skill that no-one can live without.

Even in a world as digitalised as our own, some of the most crucial skills are also the most humble.

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