''Local authorities will be supported in developing Right to Read campaigns involving community supports for literacy, from within existing budgets such as more spacious social housing, longer opening hours for libraries, homework clubs and summer camps that improve literacy through sport and games.' -Programme for Government 2011
The Right to Read Campaign was founded by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin as Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin in 2006, inspired by his experience as a teacher in Dublin's North Inner City.
The Right to Read Campaign believes that literacy is a right and the entitlement of every child, and is the responsibility of all in society to create a learning environment for all children.
Literacy is the key to advancement and serves as a key determinant of an individual’s ability to play a full and equal role in society.
The assumption that the school experience can suffice in tackling educational disadvantage or in eradicating childhood illiteracy from Irish society does not hold up to scrutiny.
Children are influenced by the environment they grow up in, by the expectations that society has of them, and by the literacy levels of their family. Studies have shown that children from lower income levels have one-third the oral language capabilities of their more advantaged peers at three years of age.
Poorer children have a greater interface with the local authority than more advantaged children. The community in which they live which has huge potential for providing a text-rich, learning environment allowing them to thrive educationally.
Disadvantaged children are often housed by the local authority, have community infrastructure provided by the local authority, and most importantly the public library system is run by the local authority. Therefore the local authority has a huge capacity to enrich the learning environment of the child.
The Right to Read Campaign wants each local authority in Ireland to be at the forefront in tackling educational disadvantage and eradicating childhood illiteracy.