Letterbox Club

On Saturday 6 October Francesca Kay led a book making and creative writing workshop with thirty children and adults who receive the Letterbox Club packs distributed throughout all Authorities in Wales via Booktrust Cymru.

The Letterbox Club is a programme managed by Booktrust, in partnership with the University of Leicester, which aims to provide enjoyable educational support for looked-after children aged 7-13.

Letterbox Club is available on a subscription basis and each child enrolled by participating local authorities is sent a parcel of books, maths activities, stationery and other materials once every month for six months, from May to October.

Each child participating in the programme receives the brightly coloured parcels directly addressed to them at home. The Letterbox Club is also suitable for other children who would benefit, such as those placed for adoption or for post-adoption support.

Research shows that children in care underachieve in education, but evaluation from pilots of the Letterbox Club has shown that providing parcels designed to encourage fun learning has had a demonstrable impact. Many children began to make more significant changes in their standardised score in reading

In Wales, the programme focuses on improving the educational outlook for children aged 7-13 in foster families by providing them with a bilingual parcel of books, maths activities and stationery items once every month for six months.

In February 2012, the Welsh Government announced three-year grant funding for Letterbox Club, meaning looked-after children in Wales will receive parcels for a fourth successive year and up to and including 2014.

In 2011, all 22 local authorities signed up, with over 950 children enrolled. Letterbox Green, the parcel for secondary school children in Year 7/8, was also available in Wales in 2011.

Letterbox Club parcels aim to provide equal access in Welsh and English and are bilingual, containing Welsh and English books. Rob Lewis, Francesca Kay and Nicola Davies are three of the authors who have featured in the parcels..