Literacy charity urges families to read together

PUBLISHED: 08:45 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:49 09 November 2017

Books for Schools campaign.

Books for Schools campaign.

Archant

Parents in North Somerset are being encouraged to swap their gadgets for books and spend more time reading with their children.

Parents are being encouraged to read with their children even after they know how to read by themselves.Parents are being encouraged to read with their children even after they know how to read by themselves.

BookTrust has launched its Time to Read campaign after research showed a number of parents are concerned about the lack of time they spend together as a family.

According to a survey carried out by the literacy charity, almost 65 per cent of parents said they were concerned their family spends too much time on social media, technology and homework rather than interacting with each other.

The Time to Read campaign urges parents and carers to continue reading with their children, even after they have learned to read, as it has a significant impact on their health, wellbeing and education.

Diana Gerald, BookTrust chief executive, said: “When children get older and start to learn to read for themselves, it can be tempting for parents to step back and let them continue their reading adventures alone.

“However, research shows the enjoyment of reading, developed through shared reading time with parents or carers, has a significant positive impact on a wide range of life outcomes including social, personal, health and well-being and educational.

“It is now widely acknowledged that children who enjoy reading will read more often and this helps them do better at school, even in subjects like maths. “It is a combination of skills and a love of reading that enables children to achieve academically and in life.

“We know this lifetime love of reading is sparked by reading together, and the shared adventures books can offer well beyond nursery school years.”

A further study also showed the amount of time parents spend reading with their children drops off at the age of five or six, and then again at seven when families start swapping books for tech-based entertainment.

Research indicates shared reading benefits the emotional health and wellbeing of young children.

Professor Peter Fonagy, head of the research department of clinical, educational and health psychology at University College London, said: “Children have a multitude of developmental needs that can all be served simultaneously by reading together with parents or carers they love and trust.”

BookTrust has donated a selection of books to the Times’ Books for Schools campaign, which aims to donate new reads to primary pupils across North Somerset.

We are hoping to collect hundreds of books and book tokens, which we will give out to a school once a month.

To win books for your school, send an email to vicky.angear@archant.co.uk to let us know about the schemes you run in school to encourage children to read.

We are also desperately appealing for businesses, community groups and families to donate books – new or second-hand – to the appeal.

It is a great time to have a clear before Christmas and rather than giving any unwanted books to charity shops, why not donate them to our campaign where your books will be enjoyed by scores of primary school children. Books can be brought to the Times office in Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare.

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