Witham MP Supports The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge
Priti Patel MP attended a drop-in event in Parliament on 13th June 2023 to showcase her support for the Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge. The Summer Reading Challenge will be running in libraries throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. The Challenge is the UK’s biggest free reading for pleasure programme for children, encouraging 4 to 11-year-olds to keep reading during the summer holidays. The theme for this year’s challenge is sports and games. The Challenge launches in Scotland on 24th June and across England and Wales on 8th July.
During her visit, Priti raised the importance of raising standards in schools, in particular the progress and improvements in literacy and reading levels in England and locally, across Essex. In the Levelling Up White Paper, the Government outlined its commitment for 90% of children to achieve expected standards in English reading, writing and maths at the end of primary school by 2030. 90% would be a significant increase, given the pandemic-related disruptions to education and a commitment on which the Government must follow through.
As part of this discussion, Priti spoke about her Get Witham Reading scheme, which has been running across the Witham Constituency, since 2012 to encourage reading activities in local schools and is set to take place on the 7th July, this summer. This year, the Education Secretary, the Rt Hon Gillian Keegan MP and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP have written letters in support of the Get Witham Reading project, commending staff and teachers for their support in organising these events and encouraging students to read both for fun and for learning.
Priti, commenting after the event, said “I am delighted to support The Reading Agency’s Summer Reading Challenge this year. As a Member of Parliament, I set out to do everything I can to promote reading, both for learning and for fun. This is why I set up my Get Witham Reading project and I was pleased to have the opportunity today to talk about this initiative with The Reading Agency, who have kindly made a commitment to donate books in support of my project.”