It’s not rocket scientist but the key to improving early literacy is parent engagement. So if you want the best for your children, then reading them a bedside story goes a long way.
Sadly though, a YouGov survey of parents found that more than two in five Australian kids (39%) own fewer than 11 books. Just 11 books!
On average Australian children owned 18 books at home, while nearly four in ten owned less than 11 books, according to a new survey commissioned by Dymocks and carried out by YouGov. Conversely, it found that parents who value books in the home and are reading role models are crucial to shaping good literacy outcomes for their children.
Literacy expert Louise Park says there’s a clear opportunity for parents to influence their child’s literacy development.
“The key to engaging young readers is to get them started as early as possible,” she says. “Reading aloud to your kids every day builds the foundations for successful literacy acquisition. As they begin to ready themselves guide them in how to choose a book that is right for them. And then, when they are reading independently, letting them choose the books they want to read and book ownership are two of the most important things you can offer as a parent.”
Dymocks has launched a major national campaign Books for Kids to increase book ownership, promote reading for fun and raise literacy levels among disadvantaged children.
From August 12 to 26, for every children’s book sold, Dymocks will donate to local literacy support programs for students who need it most.
More than 12,000 students across Australia will benefit from this literacy windfall. International superstar David Walliams has joined some of Australia’s best-loved children’s authors including Sally Rippin, Aaron Blabey, Jacqueline Harvey, Adam Spencer and Australian children’s laureate Leigh Hobbs in supporting Dymocks Books for Kids.
The survey also revealed that two in five mums (42%) would like their children to read more.
“We know that many parents are concerned that their children aren’t reading enough,” adds Louise Park. “The reading habit needs to be ingrained early or it risks being lost. Reading opens new worlds, allows children to put themselves in other people’s shoes, builds empathy and resilience.”
The good news is that the majority of kids still love to read with over half (51%) of parents surveyed saying their children enjoy reading for fun. Louise adds: “Children who are still reading for pleasure by the end of primary school will carry that through to high school and beyond. For children from disadvantaged backgrounds in particular, developing an early love of reading can help stop them from falling through the cracks.”
Ensuring that all Australian children reach an appropriate level of literacy remains one of Australia’s greatest challenges. Share the life changing magic of books during Dymocks’ Books for Kids August 12-26 and help change kids’ lives, one book at a time.