Recent research published by the National Literacy Trust reveals that three-quarters (77.6%) of primary school children enjoy reading – the highest levels ever recorded by the charity. The research also highlights the link between enjoyment of reading and attainment, showing that the longer children keep an enjoyment of reading going, the greater the benefits are in the classroom: 10 year olds who enjoy reading have a reading age 1.3 years higher than their peers who don’t enjoy reading, rising to 2.1 years for 12 year olds and 3.3 years for 14 year olds.
The research launch marks the 20th anniversary of the National Literacy Trust’s Young Readers Programme – the first-ever national school based reading for enjoyment initiative. To celebrate, the charity has published a top tips guide for parents to help get their child excited about reading, alongside a book list to inspire children to get reading, which celebrates the most popular books chosen every year of the last two decades by the children who have taken part in the Young Readers Programme.
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “20 years after we launched our Young Readers Programme – the first national reading for enjoyment initiative of its kind – we are thrilled that our research has found children’s enjoyment of reading to be at an all-time high. When children enjoy reading and have books of their own, they do better at school and later in life, so we must continue to do everything we can to inspire children to fall in love with reading for a lifetime. Parents play a vital role in when it comes to helping their child develop and sustain a love of reading, which is why we’ve published our top tips to help parents encourage their child to read and a book list with some inspirational children’s titles!”
Top tips for parents:
• Make time to read: read a bedtime story with your child every night or set a regular time to read together during the day. Little and often works best: a good ten minutes reading together is better than a difficult half hour!
• Let your child choose what
to read: your child is more
likely to develop a love of reading if they are able to choose the books they read
with you. Join your local library for free and your child can pick from a wide selection of books that suit their interests or play to their hobbies, such as football or animals.
• Explore different reading materials and formats: as well as fiction there is a world of comics, magazines, ebooks, read-along audio books and non-fiction to discover.
• Get the whole family involved: encourage your child to read with other family members like grandparents, brothers and sisters, and aunts and uncles.
• Bring stories to life: when reading stories out loud with your child, give characters different voices that match their personalities. You could pause the story and ask your child what happens next, or even try acting out parts of the story together.
• Create fun reading challenges at home: on a rainy day you could organise a treasure hunt around the house; give your child a list of things to find and see how quickly they can read the list and collect all the items.
• Be positive: praise your child for trying hard at their reading and let them know it’s alright to make mistakes.
• Be a reading role model: your child learns from you, so seeing you enjoying and valuing books can be a great inspiration.
Parents can also use the National Literacy Trust’s book list, 20 Years of Children’s Choices, to help inspire their child to read. The list celebrates the most popular books chosen every year of the last two decades by the children who have taken part in the Young Readers Programme.
For more information on the Young Readers Programme, visit www.literacytrust.org.uk/yrp.
For more advice for parents to support their child to read, visit www.wordsforlife.org.uk.