What is it?
As part of the Read on. Get On campaign, Save the Children is encouraging people to recognise the importance of reading and to put pressure on their local politicians to do the same. The campaign is not a solo effort, having been launched by a coalition of charities, businesses and authors to encourage professionals and parents to help children improve their reading, but Save the Children has been particularly active on social media and has been asking supporters to tweet pictures of themselves or their children reading in their favourite places, using the hashtag #ReadOnGetOn.
With the election approaching, Save the Children has also been asking people to tweet their local politicians to ask them to support Read On. Get On’s pledge to ensure that, by 2025, every child can read well by the time they leave school. There is a page on the charity’s website where people can enter their postcodes and find their local candidates' Twitter feeds. The charity has also created a post on BuzzFeed that lists nine things people waste ten minutes doing; this ends by saying that reading would be a better way to spend this time. It has also published images on Vine and commissioned a video from the YouTube star ScarfDemon.
Although the campaign was launched in September 2014, the charity has recently published a new report to coincide with the general election on 7 May. It's called The Power of Reading: How the next government can unlock every child’s potential through reading.
What has the impact been?
Since the charity launched this campaign, it says, both Labour and the Conservatives have signed the campaign pledge – it now has support from all three of the major parties. Justin Forsyth, chief executive of Save the Children, says that gaining support from across the political spectrum "means we have a real chance to end the scandal of children leaving school unable to read well and to transform the life chances of the poorest children."
Forsyth says: "This is a fantastic start, but there is a long road ahead. The only way we can achieve this shared goal within the decade is by everyone working together – not just politicians, but also parents, grandparents, nurseries, teachers and businesses."
Third Sector verdict
An interesting campaign that has been timed well to get action from politicians in the run-up to the election. The charity's idea of posting a picture of their favourite reading spot has clearly captured the imaginations of supporters, and there has been a strong response to the charity's request on Twitter.