The best article I’ve read on the riots.
Most of the kids are alright
(Ignore the dumb adults-only warning when you click on the link. Livejournal seem to be losing the plot.)
Filed under blackheath
Tagged as blackheath, london, riot, riots
This is a a wonderful article that gets right to the heart of the problem, namely the 13 – 20% of kids who leave school with inadequate social and literacy skills. Without free access to books from the earliest age, the problem can surely only get worse. I find it unbelievable, inexplicable and heartbreaking that by closing libraries, Lewisham council is severely restricting access to books among the youngest and most vulnerable members of society.
In the now-closed Village library, thousands of children’s books – though no longer strewn across the floor – are sitting unused on shelves in full view of passers-by. The alternative provision at Age Exchange is hopelessly inadequate where children are concerned with under 2,000 books and, despite promises to the contrary, even fewer opening hours than the Village library.
I can’t believe I’m the only person in Blackheath who feels passionately about the need to bring children into contact with books. I include everything from mother-and-baby reading sessions to class visits and films/DVDs to encourage teenage readers.
Is there no one out there who could help find benefactors who would give thought to the possibility of a dedicated children’s library in the Village? Does the Blackheath Society have suitable accommodation within its extensive property portfolio? Berkeley Homes, currently redeveloping the Kidbrooke Estate, have a philanthropic wing. Would they help fund such an enterprise? Would NIMBY contribute?
Lewisham have apparently not issued any redundancy notices to librarians so some simple re-redeployment should solve the staffing cost issue. Volunteers would also play a part, particularly for fund-raising activities – count me in for a start.
I genuinely cannot think of a more important contribution we could make to future generations than by providing access to the civilising influence of books. There’s got to be someone in Blackheath who can make this happen! I beg you – do it!
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