Club books in at Baldock library to help underachieving children get to grips with writing

Strat-Bee Creative Clubs founder Melanie Harwood.

Strat-Bee Creative Clubs founder Melanie Harwood. - Credit: Archant

A club has booked in at Baldock Library in a bid to help underachieving children get to grips with writing as quickly as possible.

Letchworth-based company Start-Bee Creative Clubs – which normally operates in schools – specialises in helping children who are struggling to master the basics of learning and writing.

The scheme is part of a wider effort to increase the amount of writing clubs running at Baldock Library – which was the first in Hertfordshire to take on the project last week.

Start-Bee Creative Clubs founder Melanie Harwood has ambitions to increase the number of writing clubs on offer at the library for children and adult learners, and wants to introduce the scheme to other Hertfordshire libraries.

The 42-year-old said: “We are extremely excited and honoured to be running these clubs in a space that is conducive to learning.

“We know there is a huge demand for our clubs outside of schools from all ages.

“One in five adults are struggling to read and write, so by chipping away at this shameful statistic our clubs can help transform the lives of adult learners.

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“While budget cuts threaten to close these spaces, initiatives like Start-Bee can help keep them open and useful by delivering exciting education programmes that are desperately needed and wanted by the wider community.

“Libraries not only provide an environment designed for learning, they also offer a central position within a town that can save on the cost of having to rent expensive office space.

Councillor Frances Button, responsible for libraries at Hertfordshire County Council, said: “We welcome Start-Bee’s use of Baldock Library for its writing club.

“It is a perfect example of how we want libraries to be, at the heart of the community, ambitious in their use of digital technology and delivered in partnership with residents, organisations and communities.

“This is an exciting time for libraries. We are proud that we have managed to keep all 46 libraries in Hertfordshire open and our ‘inspiring libraries’ strategy has set out a dynamic vision for a modern and sustainable library service.”

The group is meeting on Friday afternoons at the Simpson Drive library for the next four weeks from 3.30pm until 5.30pm.

The course teaches a maximum of six pupils in each group how to master joined up handwriting.

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