Pearson is holding “interesting conversations with potential partners” about its newly launched Project Literacy campaign, with the first actions to come out of the scheme set to be announced in the New Year.
The publisher—which produces early years material such as phonics reading programme Bug Club— has said the five-year project is an ongoing attempt “to build a more literate world in which every individual is empowered to succeed, progress and flourish”.
As part of an initial conversation, people have been invited to share the initiatives they admire, and indicate where there is more work to do, via an online infographic which is being hosted at www.projectliteracy.com.
Natalie Whitty, Pearson’s senior vice-president for public affairs and core markets, said the publisher was “really pleased” with engagement on Twitter (via the hashtag #projectliteracy) and with the infographic in the weeks since the project’s September launch.
“The (hopefully interesting) thing is that we are not saying that Pearson has all the answers,” Whitty commented. “We really want to identify where Pearson’s own research can work to build a global response and collaboration. Some of the world’s biggest education challenges can only be solved collaboratively, and social media is a great opportunity to build a movement and understand who is engaged with the issue.”
The literacy “conversation” will also encompass technology, Whitty said. “On a basic level, 800 million people cannot read a single paragraph. In developing countries, people are struggling more with the skills you need to grasp employment opportunities and be successful. There is a complexity and an opportunity around technology—we want to unpick that and think about it in a more sophisticated way.”
Pearson will work with community organisations, government and other cormpanies to achieve its aim, Whitty added, saying it was “really open” to working with other education publishers, although not currently in active conversations with any.