Reading to your child for 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference

6 Mar 2013

It’s World Book Day on Thursday 7 March and the National Adult Literacy Agency is encouraging parents, grandparents or any carer of children to try to take 10 minutes a day to read to their child.

“Reading aloud is much more than just telling a child a story and if you can spare 10 minutes a day you can make a huge difference to their development,” said Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency.

“Storytelling is not all about teaching your child to read. You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, and sharing stories and giving your child time to respond is a wonderful way to help your child’s language development”, she said.

“Reading aloud combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within a single activity and helps to build the foundation for language development. From stories your child learns many things such as how to listen and concentrate, new words and understand why things happen. They also learn to put ideas in order, develop their memory skills, notice how spoken words relate to words on the page and learn how to predict,” she said.

The National Adult Literacy Agency recently developed a website to support parents called www.helpmykidlearn.ie. The purpose of the website is to provide fun activities that parents can do with their children to improve their reading, writing and maths skills. It highlights the way children learn as part of their everyday lives and especially the positive things that children learn at home from their families.

“The most important thing is that reading is fun and enjoyable for both of you – just turn off the TV and find a quiet place so there are no distractions. And remember stories are not just found in books, it’s just as good to tell your child short, simple stories you know. The most important thing is that you enjoy it, that way your child will too.

World Book Day is Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. This may sound like a very simple idea, but unfortunately, many children do not have access to books in their homes. See http://www.worldbookday.com/world-book-day-ireland/ for more information.

 

For media queries please contact:

Clare McNally, PRO, National Adult Literacy Agency, 01 4127909/ 087 6486292