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The new CIH president has launched a scheme to make links between housing and education. ...
The new CIH president has launched a scheme to make links between housing and education.

Brian Griffiths was elected president at the CIH annual conference and his presidential appeal will be raising money for a project which will develop pioneering family literacy schemes in social housing, making a link between housing and education. The scheme offers ideas and activities for pre-school children to do with their parents at home and in the local environment with the aim of encouraging learning and improving literacy.

This approach has been developed through an innovative programme for deprived areas and will link with all parts of the community and providers of social housing to deliver the scheme.

Working with the charity 'Reading Is Fundamental', part of the National Literacy Trust, the scheme will target four pilots in social housing areas around the UK. Support and skills training will be given to parents individually and collectively, and children will be allowed to choose books and keep them to encourage better communication and reading skills.

Mr Griffiths said: 'This is an ambitious target, but I hope that others will be as excited as I am about the proposals. I believe that children living in poor conditions do not have either the space, the facilities or the correct environment to work in. The scheme will help parents to explore ways to develop literacy through play, activities and the environment, even with very young children.'

The appeal is very much in keeping with the campaign called 'Our Homes Our Future' organised jointly by the CIH, and the National Housing Federation, which aims to raise the public and political profile of housing as it impacts on every aspect of our lives, and particularly our health and education.

Sally Champion, director of Reading Is Fundamental, said: 'RIF is delighted to be working with CIH on this ground-breaking initiative. What we have started in Newcastle we very much want to build on in other parts of the UK - working with parents and their pre-school children to achieve significant long-term change and building the capacity of the community to help other local children grow up loving books.'

To find out more about RIF visit the RIF website; or email Sally Champion on


RIF provides brand new books for children to choose and own at no cost to themselves or their family. Since RIF was launched in the UK in 1996 it has distributed over 190,000 books to more than 63,000 children at events across the UK in locations as varied as libraries, parent-toddler groups, women's refuges, football clubs, schools, unemployment centres, schools and drama groups. RIF does not provide books for schools, 'RIF gives books to children; their choices; their books; their future.'

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