More than 30,000 children will receive a formal reading and writing lesson this year, according to the Department for Education.
The new initiative, dubbed the Children of the World Reading Programme, is the latest effort to support more children to learn the basics of reading, the BBC reports.
“I know that it is hard to think about how to start teaching children to write, but I think the benefits of having children reading to them are enormous,” David Wiltshire, chief executive of the National Literacy Trust, told the BBC.
“It helps them to understand their language, to get the sense of what is happening, and to have an idea of what’s happening with the world around them.”
The programme, which will run in primary and secondary schools across the UK from June, is part of a wider initiative aimed at promoting literacy among children in secondary schools, according the BBC’s John Pomeroy.
The scheme aims to encourage children to “read more and write less” by teaching them to: