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Press release: LifeJackets launches 2018 reading challenge

4 June 2018
For immediate release

Free school reading challenge launches to tackle problem of children coping with ‘home’ worries

The charity, LifeJackets, launches a free school pack today featuring a new reading challenge for children to improve their understanding of problems facing refugees and of not having a settled home.

Last year The Children’s Society reported 500,000* 10 to 17-year-olds were at risk of homelessness and Shelter estimates around 128,000 children are homeless**. To help address this problem, LifeJackets has chosen ‘home’ as the theme for its reading challenge. The goal is to help children cope with the consequence of not having a settled home and to give them a better understanding of others.

Teachers can register for the free pack for the LifeJackets reading challenge, which runs from 4th June to 31st May 2019, is available from LifeJackets.

Download the free pack

The activities are designed to take place in a classroom and for youth work in a structured group setting. In a pilot, all of the teachers in our evaluation said the LifeJackets reading challenge helped pupils gain an increased understanding of others. The pack also helps address the PSHE & English curriculum, the Headstart framework goals and is appropriate for SMSC & RE.

Carrie Comfort, Chair of LifeJackets and a former youth worker, said:

‘Hundreds and thousands of our children struggle to deal with some of today’s big issues, such as not having a settled home – either for themselves or for others. As social media provides easy access to 24-hour news, we need to take time out with our children to help them make sense of problems, such as homelessness and migration.

‘The LifeJackets reading challenge has been tested by teachers who say it works – using stories and poems to discuss big issues gets results. Children not only discussed – and made sense of – problems dominating the news, but also talked about their own lives, including not having a settled home.’

Download an image


Notes to editors:

Press contact – Carrie Comfort [tel: 07931 512 489, email: lifejacketsinfo@gmail.com]
*The Children’s Society, Good Childhood Report, 2017
**Shelter, 2017 Emergency Accommodation Investigation