Isle of Dogs’ Seven Mills pupils gets 500 books from Canary Wharf’s KPMG

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 May 2015

Youngsters in reading session at Seven Mills School, Isle of Dogs, with their KPMG volunteer

Youngsters in reading session at Seven Mills School, Isle of Dogs, with their KPMG volunteer

Damon Cleary

A school in London’s deprived East End has been given 500 books for pupils to read as part of a global programme to tackling childhood illiteracy in poor communities.

The books have been donated to Seven Mills Primary on the Isle of Dogs by a leading financial company in Canary Wharf close by.

The donation comes from KPMG’s Family For Literacy programme.

“Our relationship with KPMG helps demystify the ‘corporate landscape’ of Canary Wharf which the children can see from our school windows,” Head teacher Mike Hirst said.

“KPMG has been providing us with volunteers, school governors and support for more than 10 years.

“These 500 books they are donating will encourage our 250 pupils to read for pleasure—which is a critical element in a child’s literacy development journey.”

It is part of a global programme with two million books donated so far to children from low-income backgrounds around the world, in countries including the US, South Africa and India.

It was rolled out in Britain last year with the National Literacy Trust, which raises levels of reading and writing by helping improve literacy, speaking and listening skills in disadvantaged communities.

KPMG’s Simone Collins said: “Literacy is a crucial part of education and improving future employment opportunities, so we’re glad to help youngsters reach their full potential through this volunteering programme.

“Our involvement with Seven Mills school ranges from governorship to volunteering activity.”

Illiteracy and low literacy in adults can be linked to poor employment, homelessness and even health issues.

It costs the UK economy up to £2.5 billion a year, KPMG estimates.

The impact on people’s lives and society as a whole is profound, say researchers, if children don’t enjoy reading or don’t learn to read well.

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