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Humberside Fire and Rescue Service are celebrating five years supporting the local community through the ‘Word Counts’ initiative in North Lincolnshire

Child reading to Firefighter

Words Count was set up in 2016 and aims to increase levels of literacy for all communities in North Lincolnshire.

Latest research shows that children who can read well by the age of 11 discover a wider range of interests and knowledge, creativity, and confidence.

Upon hearing about low reading attainment at schools, Jason Frary, Community Safety Preparedness Manager realised HFRS could initiate a partnership within the areas that had capacity.

He said, “Education is incredibly important for children and by taking time out to read and interact, not only does this benefit their education it also gives them a positive role model.

We even won a community award in 2018, for our outstanding contribution to a learning community.”

Over the five-year period the Fire Service have supported 15 schools; every two weeks our firefighters read to the children and play scanning games.

By doing this not only does this allow for positive role models, but it also helps drive recruitment. It is also the longest partnership the Service has had.

Cllr Julie Reed, cabinet member for children and families, said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in this wonderful project – five years is a huge achievement. Throughout this time, we have seen significant improvements in children’s literacy levels and enthusiasm for reading.

“We’re very grateful to the firefighters from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service for giving up their time to support this project. They are inspirational role models for children who might not otherwise readily engage in reading and literacy.”

Many of our teams within the Fire Service do fitness-based activities within schools, while promoting safety messages.

Could you volunteer to help inspire a love of books in children across North Lincolnshire? Find out more here: https://www.northlincs.gov.uk/schools-libraries-and-learning/words-count-in-north-lincolnshire/

  • East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Hull
  • North Lincolnshire
  • North East Lincolnshire