Monday, 5 December 2011

National Literacy Trust...

The National Literacy Trust has just released a report that reveals that the number of children who do not own a book of their own has risen.

We all know how important reading is. It plays an important part in language development in young children and in turn this has a knock-on effect with handwriting, and goes on into school and eventually exams.

A child who isn't assisted and encouraged to read will always be working at a disadvantage, compared to their reading peers.

I wasn't able to read properly until I was 7 years old.
I had a slight speech problem and was growing up in a time when there was not as wide a range of books available to young children (unlike now), and reading was a bedtime activity when stories about Noddy, Cinderella and Peter Pan were read to me.

When I was small, the school reading method were the Janet and John books, and I can still remember the wonder I felt when words finally made sense to me and I understood how much a simple sentence could mean- and I could read it.

It also meant I could go and borrow the books in the children's section at my local library, which so many of my classmates had been doing for some time...

I connected to the bigger world by being able to read, and that was the moment when I decided I wanted to be a writer.

Sadly even now there are still adults with literacy difficulties. Hopefully one day that aspect of life will eventually become a thing of the past...

If you are interested in donating to the NLT's Gift of Reading this Christmas, then have a look here.

The writers of the future will need readers; and this scheme will help the readers of the future to be able to enjoy those books.

Perhaps there will even be potential writers among them...


Helen Baggott said...

An excellent post - yes, we need to encourage children to read more.

I once drifted off in a class and the teacher asked a question. I hadn't heard it, but answered 'No'.

She exploded - she'd asked if we thought people would still read books in the 21st century.

Thank goodness I was wrong!

Carolb said...

Thanks for commenting, Baggy.

My teenage sons have books everywhere in the house- bit like me and my husband actually.

So I'm glad you were wrong too..:-)

Helen Baggott said...

The odd thing is I used to read all the time - if only I'd been paying attention to the teacher I'd have given a much more honest answer.

Mind you, she hadn't anticipated the Kindle, had she?

Patsy said...

I agree we need to encourage children to read - not being able to do so must create huge problems for people as well as meaning they can't enjoy one of life's great (and cheap) pleasures.

Not sure it matters if children actually own books though. I read a lot as a child, but nearly all the books were borrowed. Still, if the gift of a book encourages reading it's certainly a good thing.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's so important for children to enjoy the pleasure of reading for any reason. Evidently a huge percentage of prisoners have low literacy levels. Can't be a coincidence.

Carolb said...

I'm sure you're right about some of the prison population,Rosemary.

A few years ago our writers' club had a talk given by a writer who provided literacy lessons in prison, and she saw a difference in those who started reading.