Monday 16 July 2012

Can you support charity Plan UK and help some of the world’s poorest girls finish their education?

Plan UK launched their new fundraising (and fun !) Education for Girls Facebook App last month, which highlights the importance of reading. It allows users to select how many out of 50 top children’s books they’ve read and then buy their own virtual book by donating to Plan UK. All donations from the App go directly to help fund girls' education overseas. The book will go into Plan UK’s virtual library; users can then view the library and see how their donation helped towards improving education for girls around the world.

Any help you can give brings Plan UK one step closer to transforming girls' lives and helps to fight for girls’ rights to an education.

Plan UK have also carried out research (see below) that looks into how parents educate and inspire their children through reading and it highlights the importance of stories early on in a child’s life. I used to love reading Famous Five and Secret Seven books when I was a child, but I thought they'd be far too outdated for Sophie to enjoy. How wrong could I be ?! She's ploughed through the entire series and they're now being kept for when Juliette wants to read them in a couple of year's time ! It's lovely to see the old classics remaining a firm favourite !


The Famous Five books voted the nation’s favourite childhood books of all time

The exciting journeys and discoveries made by Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five have been loved by many and the books have been named as Britain’s favourite childhood stories of all time – according to new research from children’s charity Plan UK.

Brits have been very loyal to their most treasured childhood books, keen to pass on their own childhood memories - with more than a quarter (26 per cent) saying their oldest children’s book has been passed down through two generations.

80% of parents maintain they read, or intend to read their favourite titles to their own kids.

The study marks the launch of Plan UK’s new Facebook app to promote and help fund girls’ education in developing countries – it reveals Children’s classics are top, with the five most popular books as follows (in order of popularity):

•            Famous Five, Enid Blyton

•            Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl

•            The Lion, The Witch and the Wardobe, CS Lewis

•            Black Beauty, Anna Sewell

•            Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne

Nearly 9 out of 10 (85%) of adults feel their reading experiences when they were young helped to shape the person they are today – while about 64% (2 in 3) said their favourite book helped them to read and write.

More than a quarter revealed that as a child they aspired to be just like the hero in their books – from George in the Famous Five to Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Plan UK commissioned the research to mark the launch of their new Education for Girls Facebook App, designed to help and support the world’s poorest girls access and complete their education

“Books and reading clearly have a fundamental impact on our lives and play a crucial role in education,” says Marie Staunton, Chief Executive of Plan UK.

“Unfortunately, many children, especially girls, simply don’t get the choice to go to school to learn to read and write.

“There are 75 million girls worldwide not in education – many are taken out of class to work, or to be married off when they are far too young.”

The app allows users to take a survey to find out which of the top 50 children’s books they have read – the app then offers them the choice of buying a virtual book, all donations from this go to funding girls’ education overseas.

Each book purchased will go into the virtual library; over time this will grow and allow users to see how they have improved girls education around the world – such as paying for a girl’s school fees for a year in Sierra Leone.

“We are facing a global crisis in learning with 75 million girls around the world out of school,” adds Ms Staunton.

“Shockingly, 80 million young women between the ages of 15 and 24 cannot read or write. If we want to end the cycle of poverty, one of the single best investments we can make is supporting girls to stay in school.

“By donating a virtual book through Plan’s new app, users can help give girls the education they need to move themselves from a life of poverty, to a future with opportunity.”

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