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Family and child reading given a boost

Skills for Life Network

The Family Engagement Toolkit, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, gives advice to schools on how they can engage parents and encourage them to read with their children

The Family Engagement Toolkit, funded by the Department for Education & Skills, gives advice to schools on how they can engage parents and encourage them to read with their children.

It was developed by the National Reading Campaign for the schools strand of their Family Reading Campaign.

Julia Strong, the director of the National Reading Campaign, said:

"The Family Reading Campaign is working to make every home a reading home and the support of schools can do so much to make this happen. The toolkit, which has been developed through consultation with a wide range of experts, is a great way for schools to encourage and support reading in the home."

The Every Child a Reader pilot was launched in 2005 and is helping 5,000 6-year-olds with significant literacy difficulties learn to read. It places specialist literacy teachers into schools to provide intensive support. The model is being developed to take on board Jim Rose’s recommendations on systematic phonics.

The Family Engagement Toolkit provides tried and tested ideas for schools to use in reaching out to parents, such as inviting them into the school, hosting visits by authors and poets and holding book clubs.

To obtain a copy of the Family Engagement Toolkit, schools can sign up to Reading Connects for free at www.readingconnects.org.uk, where a downloadable version of the toolkit is also available.

Reading Connects encourages schools to build whole school reading communities and offers the opportunity to become part of a network where member schools can share their ideas, experience and expertise in developing a reading culture.

The National Reading Campaign is delivered by the National Literacy Trust on behalf of the DfES. For more information visit www.readon.org.uk

Every Child a Reader provides intensive catch up support to six year old children who are identified as falling significantly behind their peers in reading. Teachers who have been specially trained in the Reading Recovery method work with children on a daily basis for half an hour to improve their reading.

At PBR 2006, the Chancellor announced a national rollout of the Every Child a Reader scheme to provide intensive catch up reading support -benefiting over 30,000 children a year by 2010-11. This roll out will be informed by the recommendations of the Rose Review on the teaching of phonics.

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