03 Jun 2016
Welcome back to the world of OOKS, thanks for stopping by! Today’s post will delve into an issue that is of great relevance to us and our message. We are all about getting kids reading, writing and using the wild imagination they were born with; which is why literacy and learning are so imperative.
For the past decade, Britain has witnessed a nationwide literacy crisis among its youth. This crisis has culminated in recent years leading to the implementation of several state operations and movements in a bid to rectify the situation. The figures and statistics that have emerged, especially from 2010 onwards, regarding literacy and numeracy skills in UK children are alarming. In a report released by Read On. Get On the extent of the situation is detailed; it expresses that even though England is one of the wealthiest and most developed countries in the world, their youths’ ability to comprehensively read is comparable to some of the most deprived nations. Statistics regarding the contention revealed that almost eight thousand eleven year olds in London alone had Level 3 reading ability- the same as the average seven year old. The London Evening Standard further reiterated these figures by writing that the capital was seeing 1 in 4 of its children leaving primary school with the inability to read or write properly. The situation was, and still is, incredibly severe.
As mentioned, the importance of combating this serious issue has been acknowledged by state power and educators but the critical improvements needed for change have not been evident. The deterioration of literacy levels doesn’t just pose repercussions for the children, it affects everyone around them; this is something the National Literacy Trust have undoubtedly noticed and built their goals around. Within seconds of logging onto the UK Literacy Trust website, their objectives regarding this national situation are distinctly laid out and the organisation’s values are clear. The cumulative results of poor literacy are distressing and much more work needs to be done on repairing children’s relationship with books and proficiency. “As a child they won’t be able to succeed at school, as a young adult they will be locked out of the job market, and on becoming a parent they won’t be able to support their child’s learning.” (National Literacy Trust)
Although the NLT and similar organisations have put huge effort into campaigning for literacy to be a priority in government as well as increased funding for education in poorer areas; the real issue and cause of this lies in the classroom and at home. What children experience in school and what they do in their spare time are what defines them and the things they are passionate about. Numerous studies have communicated that less young people are reading recreationally outside of school hours. Reading is at the forefront of literacy and learning development – this love and passion for reading needs to be reignited among the youth for real change to be seen. The conventional ‘correction and repetition’ classroom approach to reading and writing is often deprived of creativity and fun, and risks moulding a negative relationship between kids and education. When utilised correctly, entertainment possesses a huge amount of leverage over children and has the ability to garner and maintain their attention. This is exactly what needs to happen in order to push reading and writing and subsequently improve national youth proficiency levels.
As is constantly repeated time and time again, the kids of today are members of the digital age who have grown up surrounded by technology and the internet. Youth interest in reading and writing may have fallen victim to the distractions of television and social media; but there is no saying that tablet-media can’t reverse this and be used for educational growth. There are countless scholarly apps on the market that cater for children and teenagers and have the potential to make huge strides forward for literacy. The world of the Ooks and their crazy stories and adventures fall under this vast category; what makes us different is we maintain the element of fun and playfulness that is an essential component in keeping kids focused and entertained. Reading and writing are life skills but they are also highly enjoyable processes- this is what our brand reinforces. Through wacky puzzles, live Q&A’s, story competitions and many more daily tasks on our Popjam page, OoksHQ pushes children forward to become their own storytellers. They are inspired to read, write, draw and tell the most imaginative and creative tales and resultantly feel like they’re playing instead of learning. The excitement and enthusiasm that our activities bring to these youngsters will only grow bigger once our Ooks app makes its fast-approaching debut!
More than half of the UK and Ireland’s children under the age of eleven are on some form of social media. It is ingrained in their psyche and it is the key to the ongoing literacy crisis. Many believe that technology has been the cause of the literary collapse and choose to focus vehemently on this, overlooking the fact that it can also be the solution to the problem. A startling number of family homes are void of books but accommodate a variety of tablets and smartphones. It’s time to recognise that this new wave of technology must be accepted for what it is, embraced and taken advantage of. Educational and literacy-driven apps like the Ooks are the way forward. Technology is staring us and our children straight in the face and can be a convenient, effective and entertaining means of educating and improving the minds of today’s youth, should we let it!
Don’t forget to check out the OoksHQ page on Popjam where you will find a host of crazy and engaging educational posts and games. Our app will be launching very soon and promises to combat this ongoing literacy slump and inspire a more imaginative and clever way of thinking in your child!