When we decided to start WordUp, we wanted to look into a problem that was troubling Frome, the problem of literacy. After taking a look at the OECD, we were shocked to discover how large the issue truly was. We found that nationally over a third of 16-19-year-olds struggled with basic literacy, whether that be reading, writing and speaking. Not only were our young people struggling with literacy, but our entire nation was as well. England was behind countries like Finland, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. But worse still was that Somerset was below the national average, Frome itself having lower literacy rates than most other areas of Somerset.
This was the problem.
Having found our issue, we knew what we wanted to resolve. We were to tackle young people’s connection with words, writing and reading and to find a way to inspire and excite young people about literacy again. We believed that by beginning to resolve this problem would be a small pebble tossed into a pond that would cause a ripple effect not only in the community but the entire nation itself.