So we had a problem in mind, but we had to do our research to gain a clearer understanding of the issue to know how to tackle it. Our sights were set on Frome after we learned that it had lower literacy rates than most other areas of Somerset. So we dove in head first and spent some time uncovering how a lack of reading and writing skills affect the community, as well as the nation in the long run.
One of the biggest areas that are affected by low literacy is employment. Children who don’t take the time to develop their reading and writing may be limited to lower wage jobs and lower employment, which can lead to crime and poor health. It also begins to affect children’s personal development and how they relate to their community. As reading and writing are so intertwined in our daily lives, young people that suffer from these skills are not able to understand information as clearly. Initially, this can keep them from passing their A levels. Then, as they get older, poor literacy can affect their self-confidence and make them not want to socialise or be a part of the community for fear of being ostracised or ridiculed. In Frome, where we set our sights on, weak basic skills make our young people feel unequal and creates social exclusion.
Low basic skills contribute to an intergenerational cycle of low literacy as well. Research has shown that nine million working adults in England aged 16-65 years old have low basic skills. This is about a quarter of England’s working population. This will remain an issue in the community and nation if it is not addressed and continuously worked on. From our research, we’ve discovered how literacy has a large impact on the lives of young people in the community. It also impacts our social services and is costly on our country too. It keeps children from performing at their highest potential, therefore limiting the nation from what they could contribute to it.
After doing our research, we were able to solidify why exactly we needed to resolve this problem and see just how much low literacy impacts someone’s life. This was a problem that affected many areas of your life over time and trickled over to affect the community too, which is why we needed to resolve it.