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Literacy project designed to involve UK parents in children’s reading

Literacy project designed to involve UK parents in children’s reading

15 September 2011

Oxford University Press has partnered with a UK literacy charity in a bid to help involve parents in their children’s reading.

The new partnership with the National Literacy Trust is aimed at helping parents support literacy through websites, volunteering projects, and a specially-designed ‘literacy wheel’ for parents.

Research shows that parental involvement in children’s reading is more important than factors such as family income in determining literacy skills, but getting involved can be a daunting prospect for many parents.

In response OUP and the NLT are working on ways of helping parents to make proactive steps in encouraging reading.

The work centres around the Starting School Literacy Wheel, a colourful resource which includes tips and ideas for parents to try with their children at home around key literacy areas of reading, writing, speaking, and listening.  The wheels will shortly be distributed through schools, along with a teacher guidance leaflet with advice on using the resource and supporting parents.

Additional online support is also available through OUP’s Oxford Owl website which helps parents to pronounce phonic sounds, and provides access to hundreds of literacy tips, activities, and e-books. The National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life website provides further information, advice, and activities.

OUP is also assisting the National Literacy Trust’s Literacy Champions initiative in London.  More than 500 volunteers will work with 2,500 families in 12 London boroughs in the project, and each family will receive a book bag containing books which have been donated by publishers, including the Biff, Chip, and Kipper characters from OUP.

Rod Theodorou, Primary Director of Oxford Education at Oxford University Press said: “With many parents struggling with demands on their time we understand that it is not always easy for teachers to engage parents in their child’s learning so our aim is to work together to give simple, yet fun ideas and activities that any parent or carer can use.”

Find out more and download a resource wheel at