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Photo – Emily Reading Braille in her Garden

Photo – Emily Reading Braille in her Garden

Reading is key to achieving in life says Emily Brothers, Labour’s Prospective Member of Parliament for Sutton and Cheam. Supporting the ReadOnGetOn Campaign today, Ms Brothers talked about her experience as a Braille reader. She said:
“I struggled at school due to failing sight, finding printed material increasingly difficult to read. However, I found my way through much of children’s fiction by my mum reading to me.
“I spent a lot of time in hospital as a child. I recall my nan coming each afternoon to read to me, bringing a little tub of icecream – the height of luxuary in those days. That’s why I still love books and have an obsession for icecream.
“I started to learn Braille at the age of 10 because my eyesight had seriously deteriated. That was a hard slog, but well worth persevering with, as it led to turning around my education and longer term career.
“The first Braille book I read from cover to cover was ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee, having a lasting impact on my views on equality and justice. It opened up a different world of experience and ideas that that I could explore and would endure.
“Learning to read print and then later learning Braille helped me, as a child from a working class family, to unlock my potential. That’s why I’m supporting the RedOnGetOn campaign.
“Reading a large amount of information is an important part of a Parliamentary Candidates role, to stay on top of a vast array of issues of interest to constituents. I do that through Braille, listening to speech output from my computer and people reading to me the latest junk mail from the opposition.
“I tend to relax with an audio book. The listen and learn experience from my childhood continues to have resonance with me today. That why I believe that even 10 minutes a day spent with a child to encourage them to read is so important.
“Reading is one of the best routes out of poverty. Children who read well by 11 do better at school, get better exam results and do better in the workplace: new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows that, among children from poor families, the best readers will go on to earn 20% per hour more on average at age 40 than those with the weakest reading skills. That could be equivalent to an extra day's wages each week.
“The UK has a strong link between low pay, unemployment and poor reading skills, meaning that not reading well can mean a life of exclusion and poverty. That’s why I think it is time to change this for good. Parents, teachers and volunteers can make a real difference for today’s children, to give them a better chance in the future.”

Contact details:- E-Mail info@emilybrothers.com ~ Call 0776 506 0864 ~ Join Emily on Facebook