Campaign hopes to improve levels of literacy among children

A campaign aimed at encouraging businesses play an active role in improving literacy among children is being launched today.

According to a 2011 Department of Education report, one in 10 Irish schoolchildren has serious difficulty with reading or writing, with this figure rising to as high as one in three in some disadvantaged schools.

The report also states that employers and third-level institutions have been consistently critical of the standards of literacy of students leaving post-primary education.

Today is International Literacy Day and the charity Suas Educational Development is launching the ABC One in Three campaign, asking business to help mentor schoolchildren and provide learning resources.

CEO of Suas, Allison Aldred, said that the number of children leaving school illiterate is worrying.

"Literacy really is the starting point for everything for a child," she said.

"Children who are leaving school with serious problems with reading and writing... there's a lot of evidence that shows that they're more likely to end up with health problems, emotional and physical, they're more likely to end up homeless, they're more likely to end up in poverty."

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