One of the most heart-warming things about Toe By Toe for me is to receive unsolicited letters of thanks from students, parents and teachers who successfully use the manual. In this short collection of Toe By Toe in Prisons Testimonials, read how those working in the U.K. Prison system and repeat offenders acknowledge that lives have been transformed for many juvenile and adult prisoners who learned to read with Toe By Toe.
– Keda Cowling, author and founder of Toe By Toe
Toe By Toe in Prisons Testimonials
On this page you can read Toe By Toe in Prisons Testimonials. For easy reference, we have listed testimonials into different categories. Click the links below to read more.
Toe By Toe in Prisons Testimonials
Best-selling author of the Harry Potter books JK ROWLING praises Toe By Toe
“One of the most important books I’ve ever signed. Learning to read represents a significant turning point in anyone’s life, and may be the one thing that makes a difference to help people in prison turn their lives around.”
– J.K. Rowling, inspecting the success of Toe By Toe working with dyslexic prisoners at HMP Edinburgh in 2008
Toe By Toe – Helping eliminate illiteracy in prisons
“I can confirm that we together have eradicated illiteracy on A-Wing and we now struggle to find people to help. Our mentees (students) are all on Stride Ahead except one who is almost there! He is dyslexic.”
– Prisoner at HMP Wakefield who works as a ‘mentor’, helping illiterate prisoners learn to read
Chief Inspector of U.K. Prisons endorses Toe By Toe
“At a time when politicians and policy makers are looking to try and break the cycle of re-offending, Toe By Toe is something we know that works.”
– Nick Hardwick, Chief Inspector of Prisons
From Toe By Toe Student to Mentor
“I feel very proud of myself that I have taken this bad time in my life and I am making the best of it by trying to give back to others and by bettering myself.”
– A prisoner and former Toe By Toe student who became a Toe By Toe mentor, HMP Pentonville
The U.K. Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice praises Toe By Toe
“I pay tribute to all the volunteers in the Toe By Toe programme, and to all the prisoners who can read and devote time to helping those who cannot. It is important that we take advantage of all the resources available to us to try to tackle the problem of a lack of literacy in our prisons.”
– Chris Grayling, The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, 2014
From limited reader to literacy in 9 months
“All I wanted to do at school was mess about. When I came here, I could read a bit and write a bit, but not much. I started Toe By Toe in June last year. It took me about nine months. But now I can read my own letters, and write letters too.”
– Eddie, a Toe By Toe student, HMP Wandsworth
Former U.K. Prime Minister praises the ‘remarkable’ Toe By Toe
“In prison, people can’t read. They need help. It’s common sense. Toe By Toe is remarkable in prisons.”
– Ex-U.K. Prime Minister, David Cameron
Toe By Toe – “The only good thing that has ever happened to me”
“Dear Mrs Cowling,
My name is ….. and I’m 55 years old and have never been to school in my life until 12 months ago. I used to be like you lot who are now reading this. I used to have my own businesses earned a lot of money and lost the whole lot because I was too proud to ask for help. The only good thing that has ever happened to me was getting the Toe By Toe book.
This is no bullshit as I believe that without this book I would have returned to the drink on release and who knows where I would have ended up. I honestly do swear by the Toe By Toe book.
“My wish is that Dovegate Prison would be more like other prisons and create more Toe By Toe mentors to assist those inmates who are of need in that area. I feel this way because I know how much the Toe By Toe scheme has helped me and I also know that there are plenty inmates in Dovegate who would benefit.
“I also believe that Toe By Toe would help a lot of inmates to have a different outlook on life and not return to prison. It is never too late to learn and I am living proof as I only started learning to read and write just over a year ago. Keep up the good work – hope I didn’t bore you too much.”
– Letter from a prisoner at HMP, Dovegate, Uttoxeter
Toe By Toe ‘invaluable’ for young offenders
“The Toe By Toe training was invaluable. We have seen the benefits for our young people. It has been a great intervention and we hope to continue using and working with Toe By Toe for the future.”
– Youth Justice Service in the U.K.
Toe By Toe – ‘helping me build a better life for me and my family’
“I’m helping others learn with Toe By Toe and I’ve learnt a lot that I can use to build a better life for me and my family when I’m released from jail.”
– Toe By Toe student who became a Toe By Toe Mentor, HMP Pentonville
Prison Governor endorses Toe By Toe
“Toe By Toe works with and not against my education provider. I truly believe it provides a better opportunity for the offenders in reducing their risk of re-offending and gaining further education or employment on release.”
– Rob Davis, Governor, HMP Chelmsford
Toe By Toe – performing miracles
“The Shannon Trust Reading Plan (Toe By Toe) really can perform miracles. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me, even though it meant coming to prison to learn to read.”
– Prisoner at a large ‘Category C’ prison in the West Midlands
Toe By Toe – a ‘life-changer’ for prisoner
“Last Tuesday I had the pleasure of listening to a Toe By Toe student read successfully the last reading exercise in the Toe By Toe Reading manual. The student has been working with peer mentors, myself and other teachers, and the reading programme for just over 18 months here in Castlerea Prison. ‘You don’t know what this means to me,’ he said, ‘This has changed my life.’ I think his words say it all.”
– Teacher, Education Unit, Castlerea Prison, Ireland – April 2016