School-Home Support have been working with financial services company Nomura to help disadvantaged children in Southwark to improve their literacy. Many of these children come from low-income backgrounds and wouldn’t consider working in the City centre, despite living so close by. This year, we launched a pen-pal scheme with Nomura employees to help these children improve their literacy skills and raise their employment aspirations. The pen-pal scheme has been a great success, with 45 employees each taking time out from their busy jobs to write a letter put a smile on a child’s face.
The letters they received back from the Year 5 pupils at Cobourg Primary School were funny and clever, full of questions about working at Nomura and lots of drawings of pets! One child wrote, “Your job sounds really interesting. I would like to work at what you do”. Another boy’s face lit up when he saw he had a letter from the Nomura head office in France – French was his mother tongue and he had been struggling in English lessons. He wrote a letter in both French and English and had a huge grin on his face reading it aloud to the class.
The pilot of the pen-pal scheme is going very well and we were delighted to see an article in the FT Adviser on the scheme, which you can read here.
You can read more about how our pen-pals get on via our Twitter account, where we will be posting more updates.