The Letterbox Club: support for educational activity at home for children in foster care

2003 to present day

Investigators

Rose Griffiths

Sue Dymoke

Chris Comber

Jo Griffiths

Sarah Adams

Sue Hastings

Sources of funding include

DCSF

Siobhan Dowd Trust

Pearson

Welsh and Northern Ireland regional government

UK local authorities

Booktrust.

Overview

The Letterbox Club began in 2003-2006 as a small action research project based in Leicester and Suffolk, aiming to promote educational activity in reading and mathematics for children aged 7 to 11 in foster care by sending children personalized packages of books and number games to use at home.  A major grant from the Department for Children, Schools and Families in 2007-7008 funded a pilot across 52 local authorities in England, and helped us to establish a central organisation for the programme in partnership with Booktrust, a national charity. The programme has expanded each year, and now covers 4 age groups (5-7, 7-9, 9-11 and 11-13) and all four countries of the UK, with similar programmes in Denmark, Sweden, Canada and the USA.

Our current research includes two projects: an evaluation of the implementation of Letterbox Club in a Midlands local authority, and a pilot for a new age range, working with children aged 3 to 5 and their foster carers. Both projects are due to report at the end of 2016.

Children can be a member of Letterbox Club every other year; the UK cohort for 2015 was over 10,000 children.

Letterbox Club website

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