Shannon Trust and Storybook Dads helping to break the cycle of low literacy

Megan Jackson
September 8, 2022

It is estimated that 57% of people entering prison either struggle to, or cannot, read. And adults with poor literacy are likely to pass their illiteracy onto their children.


With the help of Storybook Dads, we are helping to break this cycle of low literacy.


Verity McLalland, Regional Manager for South West and Wales, has been working closely with the Storybook Dads team at HMP Dartmoor and HMP Channings Wood, to ensure our mentors are trained to talk to their learners about Storybooks Dads’ assisted reads:


“We are delighted to be working with Storybook Dads to ensure that all learners working with Shannon Trust are aware that they can access assisted reads where they will be supported to read a story to their child, even if they themselves can’t read the story completely.


“Storybook Dads have provided us with portable DVD players so that we can show mentors how an assisted read works, which they can describe to their learners. The team at Storybook Dads are ensuring anyone who needs an assisted read is also signposted to a Shannon Trust mentor for further reading support.”


Learning to read has many benefits. Some of our learners have reported they feel like better parents being able to read and write to their children.


After just 4 months of learning to read with Turning Pages, one of our learners was able to read a bedtime story to his children for the first time with the help of Storybook Dads.


Stories are a fantastic way to bring families together, and Storybook Dads do an incredible job of reconnecting families through storytelling.


Emma Richardson, Project Worker at Storybook Dads, says: “We are excited to be working more closely with Shannon Trust; working together can help us to help hard to reach prisoners. Storybook Dads can be the incentive needed to engage learners with the Shannon Trust reading programme – what better encouragement to learn to read than to be able to read a story for your child.”


By working together, we are not only giving people in prison a chance to turn their lives around, we are also showing their children how reading can change lives.

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