Inspired by the controversial findings of a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the National Fostering Agency (NFA) is encouraging foster carers to make reading a priority for the young people in their care.
The study revealed that young people in England have amongst the lowest results in the industrialised world in international literacy falling dramatically behind Asian and European counterparts.
Helping a child to read can improve the confidence of the child, improve communication skills and lead to enhanced concentration levels. NFA foster carers are passionately concerned about improving the outcomes of children they are looking after, so making reading a part of everyday family life is a natural step in a child’s personal development.
As a foster carer or parent, reading to or with your child is one of the most important things you can do to prepare them for life after school, but time is often an issue for busy families. By setting aside a regular slot for reading in the family for around 10- 20 minutes, independent of schoolwork healthy habits can be established.
Reading aloud to a child who may be discouraged by their own reading skills can be the first step in restoring enthusiasm for books and reading, as the pleasure of listening instead of struggling alone can encourage them to pick up the book themselves to continue the story.
Recognising the importance that children’s literature plays in the education and literacy standards in the UK, foster carers are being advised to introduce children to classic tales such as Aesop’s Fables, The Wind in the Willows and more recently the Harry Potter series, which will not only stimulate the imagination of young minds, but improve levels of literacy.
Which work of children literature was most important to your childhood development?
Fostering a child is a combination of hard work but equal reward. To find out more about becoming a foster carer contact the National Fostering Agency on 0845 200 40 40 or email [email protected].