Founded by Becca Dean with the aid of Portsmouth City Council and the University of Portsmouth, The Literacy Hubs provides additional outside of the classroom support for disadvantaged children who are at risk of lagging behind their better-off peers.
Statistically, children living in poverty start school with vocabularies up to 19 months behind that of their counterparts and they are deemed twice as likely to leave secondary school without good GCSE grades in English and mathematics.
The hub currently works with 75 children aged five to eight from local schools, who receive free school meals and have low literacy levels. The hub’s programme focuses on three core areas for their development, which include confidence, perseverance and literacy.
Carvalho joins the organisation following an approach by, Jackie Rainford, who works as a deputy headteacher at a junior school in nearby Waterlooville.
Relishing the challenge of his new voluntary role, Carvalho said that he was looking forward to supporting the organisation in giving back to the city of Portsmouth.
He said: “I was extremely proud to have been asked to join The Board of Trustees at The Literacy Hubs. To give back to the city of Portsmouth is something I am extremely passionate about and I’m looking forward to supporting the organisation and aiding them in achieving even further success.”
Carvalho’s arrival comes at a time when The Literacy Hubs are looking to expand their operations. Following the success of their first hub, The Pompey Pirates, which launched at Southsea’s Omega Centre in September 2020, the charity is now planning to widen its programme to cater for a further 60 children by September 2021.
The Literacy Hubs already rely heavily on their 80-strong team of volunteers and will need even more help to make these expansion plans a reality.
Volunteers are required to possess good literacy skills, be willing and able to give time for 15 sessions per year and must be aged 18 and over. If you are in a position to help and would like to contribute, more information can be found here.