Log on to ITV’s free storytelling website www.signedstories.com, on Tuesday September 8 to share the award-winning children’s picture book Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch.
Malcolm Wright, Managing Director ITV SignPost, who won a Reading Hero award for developing Signed Stories said : “I’m delighted that we’re working alongside Unesco to promote the need for improved literacy around the world.
“Signed Stories was developed as a response to a report from the National Deaf Children’s Society warning that poor literacy disadvantages deaf children much more than hearing children.
“Our website is fully accessible in sign, text and sound. It’s already been viewed by children and parents from 87 countries and feedback indicates that it’s being enjoyed by many whose first language is neither English nor British Sign Language.
“The visual nature of sign language gives it universal appeal and infinite potential to boost the literacy of all children. We hope Signed Stories will help deaf and hearing children all over the world to achieve their full potential.”
Amazing Grace is the story of a feisty young girl who learns that she can be anything she wants to be if she puts her mind to it ! The BSL translation is presented by Donna Mullings who has worked as a British Sign Language presenter extensively on television and in theatre, and the story is narrated by ITV Tyne Tees anchorwoman Pam Royle - who even learned a Caribbean accent for her role.
Pam said : “Amazing Grace is an inspirational story and a wonderful addition to Signed Stories. I really wanted to get the accent right to add authenticity to the story and I had excellent vocal training from a Royal Academy of Dramatic Art coach. I love working on this project.”
What is International Literacy Day ?
International Literacy Day is a day designated by Unesco to celebrate the importance of literacy, the achievements of the four billion literate people around the world and to raise awareness that 75 million children are not able to attend school.
Unesco says : “Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.
“With some 776 million adults lacking minimum literacy skills, literacy for all remains an elusive target.”