As you can tell I am passionate about children having a good start in their reading career and have many ideas about how we can do this. However what if you could barely afford to feed your family let alone find time to read with them. In school it is often commented on the children’s ability to learn if they are hungry and this is why Breakfast Clubs are such a great idea allowing children a chance to fuel their body ready to learn and there are many staff in schools that think nothing of going into the school kitchen/staff room to rustle up a quick snack/meal for a child that has missed breakfast.
Save the Children are working on a new campaign to highlight a global literacy crisis caused by poor nutrition. It shows that chronically malnourished children are 20% less literate than their better nourished counterparts.
A quarter of the world’s children are chronically malnourished, so these findings point to a global reading crisis fueled by poor nutrition. The report shows that not having a nutritious diet can severely impair a child’s ability to read and write a simple sentence – regardless of the amount and quality of schooling they have received.
In June, the UK will host a nutrition summit in London in advance of the G8 and Save the Children are releasing this report just before, on May 28th, and calling on world leaders to take action on this issue.
This report will form part of the IF campaign where over 170 charities have joined together to call for the G8 to take action on World Hunger – the campaign’s main call is around the fact that the world already produces enough food for everyone, so it makes no sense for not everyone to have enough food.
It doesn’t matter how much we do to try to get children to become competent readers, if we can’t find a way to ensure that everyone has all the food they need then there will always be children suffering unnecessarily. For example
Although he is 12 years old, Nguoth looks about eight. Like many students in his class, for two years he had to drop out of school because there wasn’t enough food at home. He still misses school at least two days a week to go into the bush to find wild fruits. On the other days, he comes to school hungry.
Imagine how productive you feel when all you can think about how hungry you feel – I know I struggle now imagine how you would feel if you haven’t eaten for a few days and don’t know where your next meal will be coming from.
Kasturi is the youngest daughter of Srinivas and Lakshmi, who worked as agricultural labourers in Andhra Pradesh until Lakshmi became pregnant with twins and Srinivas found it impossible to find work. They moved to town with their eldest daughter, Sangeeta, and Lakshmi gave birth to twins, one of whom died after ten months. While Lakshmi was pregnant and when Kasturi was small, the family struggled to make ends meet and couldn’t afford to buy nutritious food. While Sangeeta is doing well at school, Kasturi is struggling.