Family and child reading given a boost by new toolkit.
Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Alan Johnson and the Chancellor Gordon Brown urged families to read more and read together as they launched a toolkit to encourage reading for pleasure in the home.
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.
On a visit to Lauriston School in Hackney, the Chancellor also stressed the importance of the Every Child a Reader programme in helping children with significant literacy difficulties. The pupils taking part benefit from intensive one-to-one reading support.
A study by the Institute of Education showed that children completing the programme increase their reading levels by an average of 21 months, well over four times the expected rate of progress. The Chancellor has announced a national rollout of the Every Child a Reader scheme by 2010/11.
The Chancellor said: "I'm delighted that over the next five years approximately 70,000 six year olds who are significantly behind in their reading will benefit from the intensive tuition offered by the highly successful 'Every Child a Reader' programme.
"All the evidence shows that getting the basics of literacy right at an early age is vital if we want to raise standards and give all children the best start in life."
Alan Johnson said: "Being able to read well is fundamental to anyone's education but it can also be a joy. It can open up children's eyes to fresh perspectives and make them curious about the world.
"Research has shown that a love of reading improves a child's life chances and that when children read for pleasure it improves their school results across the curriculum.
"This toolkit gives schools the support and ideas they need to encourage families to read together. It will be an invaluable resource and I'd like to thank the National Reading Campaign for developing it.
"I'd also like to see as many schools as possible sign up to Reading Connects and take those simple steps that will encourage the children - and their families - to take up reading for pleasure."
To obtain a copy of the Family Engagement Toolkit, schools can sign up to Reading Connects for free at the website Reading Connects, where a downloadable version of the toolkit is also available. A link to this website is below. The National Reading Campaign is delivered by the National Literacy Trust on behalf of the DfES. For more information visit the Read On website using the link below.