‘Flying High’ programme to help literacy skills soar

Fri 26 March, 2021
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The University of Bedfordshire is supporting the Level Trust charity in its ‘Flying High’ SMASH Easter programme, aimed at enhancing the reading skills of local children during the holidays.

Joe & the Kite bookAn extension of the charity’s annual SMASH summer school activity, the Level Trust has been supplying food parcels and fun, kite-themed educational packs to 150 children in Luton ahead of the Easter break (29th March – 9th April 2021), aided by the University’s Access & Outreach Team.

The children selected for the SMASH Easter programme have been identified by Family Workers based at ten local schools, who recognised the pupils’ needs for additional help and support – either financial or pastoral – while their classrooms are closed for the holidays.

The engaging activities and games contained in the pack take their inspiration from the book ‘Joe and the Kite’ by Amanda Humphries, in which 11-year-old Joe is whisked away to Cloud Land where he and his new-found friends must solve mysterious puzzles and games to return home.

Participating children are being encouraged to enter a special ‘Flying High’ competition by submitting at least one of their completed activities from the pack, either by showing it to a visiting member of the Level Trust, handing it to their school’s Family Worker or by emailing a copy of it to: admin@leveltrust.org

Children playing at Level Trust's uniform shop - copyright Level Trust

The University of Bedfordshire has supported the ‘Flying High’ programme by providing all of the books and covering the printing costs for the charity. Access & Outreach Manager, Roisin Kendall, says her team is committed to helping the area’s vulnerable children through their education.

She said: “Children living and experiencing poverty are at a proven disadvantage, and Covid-19 has again changed the landscape.

“As an institution which is at the centre of the community, this project demonstrates the University’s commitment to supporting the most vulnerable and we are proud to be a partner of this amazing grass roots project.”

School trips, warm clothing, stationary and PE kits are just some of the essential costs of education that can pose a challenge to the development of young children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Flying High posterTina Edwards, Level Trust’s School & Youth Project Lead, says the charity is grateful for the support of all their community partners. She said:

“We are so excited to launch our ‘Flying High’ programme, supporting 150 children in Luton with fun and exciting holiday activities they can do at home. Packs include cooking, craft, competitions, reading and physical activities all based around a book which is also included in the pack.

“We are grateful for the support of all of our partners who have helped to make this possible and ensure that despite these difficult times children can still have fun and enjoy learning.”

Level Trust is a Luton-based charity supporting children aged 3-16 who are living in poverty, helping families overcome the cost of education. Other supporting partners of Level Trust’s ‘Flying High’ SMASH Easter programme are Sainsbury’s, Luton Foodbank, Next Generation Youth Theatre and Groundwork.

For more information about Access and Outreach partnerships at the University of Bedfordshire follow @bedsAteam on Twitter, or contact: access@beds.ac.uk


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