Britain has up to eight million adults who are functionally
illiterate. It is estimated that poor reading ‘could cost the UK £32bn in
growth by 2025’. Research suggesting that by 2025, 1.5 million British children
will reach the age of 11 still unable to read well has prompted the launch of a
new campaign backed by a coalition of businesses, charities, bestselling
authors and teaching professionals.

is a difficult process. The brain must be doing several things at once in order
to make sense out of the written word. Many things can go wrong when a person
is learning to read. Those who struggle with reading will ultimately directly
or indirectly struggle with life.

Globally, almost 800 million people are illiterate and 100
M children don’t attend school every day. Jo Bourne, chief of education at UNICEF,
the UN’s children’s agency, says, “Despite recent progress, there are still
some 59 million primary-age children and 65 million adolescents out of school –
often children living in poverty, girls, children with disabilities, children
from ethnic minorities, children living in conflict or those engaged in child

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that mainly
affects the way people read and spell words. It is estimated that a billion
people worldwide is affected by some degree of dyslexia.

It is very easy to measure progress using the Pocket
Learner and so be able to ascertain distance traveled. When a child who
previously used only pictures to communicate or who had to point at what they
wanted is then able to look at a written word and is able to read or sign it,
for example: the word “Milk” or “Toilet” it is both a joyous and a powerful
moment and can be a serious game changer in the lives of all stakeholders
connected to that child.

A specially commissioned report says England is one of
the most unequal countries for children’s reading levels, second in the EU only
to Romania. The gap between the strongest and weakest readers is equivalent to
seven years of schooling. The report calls for a concerted effort from all
corners of society. The report is claimed to be the “most comprehensive
study of pre-school and primary school-aged children in a generation” and
has found disadvantaged children are the worst affected, with 40% not reading
well by the age of 11 – almost double the rate of their better off peers.

It is estimated that the prison population in the UK is
some 85,000. More than three-quarters of them cannot read, write or count to
the standard expected of an 11-year-old. In terms of ex- offenders studies have
found that those who were functionally literate were more likely to find
employment and the rate of re-offending drops from 90% to 10% if the person
leaves prison and goes straight into the world of work. This would amount to
substantial savings as every re-offender whose act lands back inside costs the
taxpayer and average £250,000.

It is estimated that one in every ten people in the UK;
ten to fifteen percent of the US population has dyslexia, yet only five out of
every one hundred dyslexics are recognized and receive assistance. Without the
proper diagnosis and help, many dyslexics are part of the forty-four million adults
with only the lowest level of literacy which limits their ability to find jobs
and function independently within their communities.

The Pocket Learner is a particularly useful intervention learning tool to people who fall into the difficult categories mentioned earlier and can serve as the ideal platform for developing reading skills.