Scottish Government
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Support for adult literacy

Adults with literacy difficulties are to be given new help to write their own stories and develop their own publications, through a partnership between the Scottish Government and Scottish Book Trust.

The scheme - announced by the Minister for Schools and Skills, Maureen Watt, at a conference to mark International Literacy Day - is the first partnership of its kind between the Trust and the Scottish Government.

The project has been awarded £55,000 to appoint a development worker who will support learners through Scotland's 32 local adult literacy and numeracy partnerships, and help them to write stories for a series of publications.

Speaking at the Scotland Celebrates International Literacy Day Conference, Ms Watt said:

"Re-entering education as an adult takes courage - especially if your previous experience has not been good. Those working in the adult literacies field in Scotland recognise this and understand the importance of listening to the views of these learners and ensuring their voices are heard.

"They have a valuable contribution to make towards creating literacy materials for other learners and that's why, for the past four years, Learning Connections, within the Scottish Government, has provided funding to support the publication of their writing.

"This year - the National Year of Reading - we've joined forces with Scottish Book Trust, to manage the distribution of grants to publish these works and provide editorial support to Scotland's local adult literacy and numeracy partnerships.

"I hope this will encourage more of these learners to get involved in writing and give them the skills they need to improve their prospects at work, support their children's learning and help us build a smarter, more confident Scotland."

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

"We absolutely delighted to be working in partnership with the Scottish Government and Learning Connections on this important initiative for adult learners. Creating user-led opportunities to develop reading and writing skills, and enabling the results to be showcased and disseminated through publication speaks directly to our common mission of nurturing a fairer, smarter and more confident Scotland".

Established in 2003, Learning Connections within the Scottish Government's Lifelong Learning Directorate, has policy responsibility for community learning and development (CLD). It also carries out a national development role for adult literacy and numeracy (ALN) and CLD in Scotland. .

For the past four years, it has supported the publication of collections of works by learners with literacy difficulties, through the provision of grants.

Today also sees the publication of the 2007-08 Adult Literacy and Numeracy progress report, which summarises progress taking place across the country to give adults help with improving their reading, writing and numbers. This report contains many examples of the effective partnership working which is underway to give adult learners the support they need.

Scottish Book Trust is the leading agency for the promotion of literature, reading and writing in Scotland. In 2007, Scottish Book Trust invested £1.5 million to encourage readers and writers in Scotland, funded over 1,200 literature events and promoted Scottish writing to over 10 million people worldwide.

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