As we wrap up a year of sessions with our latest cohort of Young Pirates I am left once again feeling proud and inspired. This blog post is a quick look back at what we achieved through fun and engaging sessions and creative projects.
Last year we created an online programme – our Virtual Ship – in response to the pandemic and school building closures. Over time, we developed a third space where children could avail of one to one and small group support and benefit from motivation and feedback from session leaders and volunteers. We worked hard to ensure that the online venue encompassed the joy and rigour that we are known for.
Last September we launched our learning programme in three locations – Hackney, Haringey and online, ready to handle whatever challenges the pandemic crisis threw at us.
When the national lockdown was announced in November, we moved every Young Pirate onto our Virtual Ship and worked with families to ensure they could get online and take part in sessions. Despite a six-month break, our brilliant community of volunteer Crewmates rallied and within weeks we had more than 300 people actively volunteering once again. Our volunteering team provided training to help people feel comfortable online, ensuring the Young Pirates could continue to get the best support possible.
Fast forward eight months and our Young Pirates have created a bounty of writing resulting in the publication of books, a wellbeing podcast, an audio app and most recently, a film that premiered at the RIO cinema. At every session we celebrated their effort and each term we welcomed family and friends to see their success first-hand at celebration events.
Importantly, we have seen the Young Pirates grow in confidence and develop a keen interest in reading. In due course we will share our impact data but in the meantime, I will share a few words from one of our Young Pirates, Lexi:
Literacy Pirates is fun, awesome and educating! It’s made me more confident in reading, my handwriting and my adjectives in my sentences.
In September, we will be setting sail to reach even more Young Pirates than ever before, bringing our Virtual Ship to six London boroughs.
Thank you for your continued support.
A salute to you all!