Me Before You author Jojo Moyes has stepped in to save the literacy initiative, Quick Reads. Two weeks ago, Reading Agency, the organization that runs the project, announced that it was on the brink of closure due to the lack of funds.Quick Reads is a popular scheme that aims to publish entertaining but simply written books for adults with reading difficulties. Popular writers, such as Adam McNab and Malala Yousafzai have contributed writings to the project. However, the charity stated that it would need at least £120,000 for three years in order to ensure the continued future of Quick Reads. Mars Galaxy pulled its funding in 2016 and the Arts Council England withdrew their funding in 2017, so it has been difficult to acquire funding elsewhere.
Although the amount of Moyes’ donation has not been revealed, she has ensured that her donation will cover the three-year time and give the charity more time to find funding for the future. Moyes response:
As soon as I heard the news I just couldn’t believe it…I’d written a Quick Read myself and I’d recently visited a women’s prison, and thought long and hard afterwards about the importance of literacy … how impossible it is ever to get ahead if you don’t have reading skills. You are tethered forever to the bottom rung if you don’t have the ability to just be able to read to a certain level, so it seemed incomprehensible to me that this scheme, which was well run, got great results and had a very low-cost outlay in comparison to a lot of charitable schemes [was shutting down]. At a time when libraries were closing, I thought this was nuts. I talked about it to my husband for a weekend and we thought we’d just put in a few tentative inquiries. And here we are … I am lucky enough to be in a position to help, and proud to provide the support it needs for the next three years.”
According to Reading Agency’s statistics, at least 95% of the adults who partake in the program find it has boost their reading confidence and 91% say that these books have improved their reading skills.