Daily Mail donates £1m worth of media to UK literacy drive

A campaign aimed at raising literacy standards among primary school

children is to be extended beyond the Yorkshire area where it was first

developed and on to the national stage.

The Daily Mail has donated about £1 million worth of media space

for the advertising campaign, which will roll out nationally next month

to coincide with the new academic year.

This is being augmented by a further £250,000 of donated space and

a cinema campaign, which is being run free of charge by Pearl & Dean in

Yorkshire cinemas over the next month.

The national campaign has evolved out of advertising developed by the

Brahm agency in Leeds for the Yorkshire and Humberside region of

Business in the Community.

Now other BITC regions are taking up the campaign - called Right to Read

- which encourages adults to give up free time to go into schools and

assist children with their reading, and adapting it to local needs.

The Yorkshire and Humberside initiative was launched in 1999 in response

to alarming statistics that stated that one in four children in the

region failed to reach basic literacy standards by the age of 11.

With no budget to support the campaign, the BITC division has been

attempting to raise standards with minimum funding.

Since it began, 3,000 volunteers have been recruited in the Yorkshire

region and the figure for children achieving the required reading

standards has risen from 78 per cent in 1999 to 83 per cent last year.