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Charity urges parents to read with their children

PUBLISHED: 12:30 09 November 2017

Books for Schools campaign.

Books for Schools campaign.


A literacy charity is encouraging families to take a break from technology to spend 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 launched its Time to Read campaign after research revealed parents are concerned about the lack of time they spend together as a family.

The charity is encouraging parents to read with their children even when they seem ‘too old’.

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. “Indeed, reading for pleasure regularly has more of an impact on a child’s educational achievement than having a parent with a degree.

“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.”

Almost 65 per cent of parents surveyed were concerned their family spends too much time in individual ‘bubbles’ with social media, technology and homework, rather than interacting.

A further study also showed the amount of time parents spend reading with their children drops off at the age of five or six.

Professor Peter Fonagy, head of the research department of clinical, educational and health psychology at University College London, said: “A strong and lasting bond between families and children is founded on shared interests, excitement, and wonder – all of which can be achieved by reading for pleasure, which opens doorways to safely explore new worlds and concepts that fire their imaginations.

“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 Mercury’s Books for Schools campaign, which aims to help primary pupils across North Somerset.

We hope to collect hundreds of books as well as book tokens, which we will give out to a school once a month.

The Mercury wants to help schools which are struggling to pay for new resources due to a shortage of funds.

To win a selection of books for your school, send an email to to let us know about the schemes and rewards you run in school to encourage children to read.

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

It is a great time to have a clear-out in the run-up to Christmas and rather than ditching unwanted books, why not donate them to our campaign to be enjoyed by scores of school children.

Books can be brought in to the Mercury office at 32 Waterloo Street in Weston.

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