Thursday, 10 January 2013

Make Time to Read / Reading Takes You Places - Campaign

The Welsh Government is currently running a campaign to encourage parents, grandparents and carers to read with children:
"Reading with a child for 10 minutes every day really will help take them places"
So I hope that library staff in all sectors can expect a plethora of questions about, and interest in, reading with children. Be prepared!


The campaign includes radio, television, cinema and online advertisement and is supported by http://betterreading.co.uk/ website. Indeed the TV advertisements are running now (7th - 27th January) on ITV Wales and S4C. You may have spotted one already? (The advertisement is available on this page if you haven't seen it http://betterreading.co.uk/resources)

The campaign seeks to engage and encourage parents, grandparents and carers to read with their children, thereby encouraging children to read and to develop the reading habit. The campaign isn't just confined to books, but values and promotes reading of web pages, comics, newspapers and recipes. The overall aim is to improve the literacy of 5-14 year olds in Wales.

Support materials for librarians are also available via the toolkit area of the www.library.wales.org/ web site.

I guess for many adults it's all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking that reading is a solitary activity. But the success and enthusiasm evident at storytimes in libraries / schools, book readings / meet the author events, Literature Festivals, reading groups and for audio-books, all counter this premise. However, I'm always really surprised when I meet folk who don't have at least one book "on the go", or who discount reading the local newspaper, or browsing the web. For these people the reading for pleasure habit has been lost. Hopefully this campaign, along with similar ones, can also help to redress this balance.

As a child, I valued the time that my Mother spent with me helping me to read Jules Verne "20000 leagues under the sea". It didn't foster a love of sci-fi for me, but it did encourage my reading habit and helped me to overcome some reading difficulties at the time. I'm also struck now as to why I didn't read to my Grandmother when her sight failed. As an avid reader in later life, I'm sure now that she would really have appreciated revisiting some favourite books, or hearing some of my favourites. What a missed opportunity!

Has this campaign impacted your professional lives, or do you know of children where there has been a positive impact? Is the campaign having an impact? Are additional resources or support materials required? Your thoughts will be welcomed!

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