Children in the UK have been severely impacted by the pandemic. Not only has their education been interrupted with devastating impacts on literacy, but child depression, anxiety, and sadness are also increasing across the country.
Author and TV presenter Martin Roberts hopes to tackle both the literacy and mental health crises with his new initiative to bring a copy of the story Sadsville to every UK primary school and 4,000 libraries. Additionally, Sadsville will also be available free of charge as an interactive listening book exclusively on our reading app Fonetti for children to read at home.
Sadsville tackles the theme of child sadness through a story, written to raise awareness of the fantastic work of Childline and the NSPCC. Aimed particularly at children in Year 4 (8 and 9 year olds), Sadsville opens a discussion about emotional issues and reassures children that help is always at hand. Together with Fonetti, Sadsville will support schools as they gently welcome pupils back into class. The launch also coincides with World Mental Health Day on October 10th.
According to Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC,
“Sadsville introduces children to problem solving and explains that you can be sad for a number of different reasons and encourages them to have the confidence to seek help. The number of additional children using the Childline service as a direct result of this initiative could be highly significant.”
It is our aim to help Martin Roberts achieve his personal vision, to provide a copy of Sadsville into the hands of as many children as practically possible, and our digital technology provides the perfect platform, especially in the current climate.
There has never been a more critical time to support our children and their mental wellbeing. We are proud to have been given the opportunity to partner in the project and to play a small part in this grand ambition.
Fonetti is a tablet-based, interactive reading practice app. It uses Auris's multi-patented automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine to engage children with reading, using the power of the child's own voice to accelerate and embed their learning. Visit our website to learn more about Fonetti at home and in schools!
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