Parents urged to never stop reading to children

Harmony Primary School students enjoy a tale from Story Dogs volunteer Bob Kellar, his dog Mo and Never Stop Reading! ambassador Sarah McGowan.
Harmony Primary School students enjoy a tale from Story Dogs volunteer Bob Kellar, his dog Mo and Never Stop Reading! ambassador Sarah McGowan.

PARENTS are being urged not to forgo bedtime stories in a new initiative rolling out in WA public schools.

The new Never Stop Reading! initiative was created after research showed daily reading traditions between parents and their children were ending too early.

Curtin University literacy researcher Margaret Merga interviewed children from Years 4 to 6 for the study.

“It was surprising to discover that more than half of these children do not have anyone reading to them at home,” she said.

“Research strongly suggests that reading aloud regularly has a significant and positive effect on children’s language, phonological awareness, print concepts, comprehension and vocabulary outcomes, as well as noteworthy psychosocial benefits.”

Never Stop Reading! ambassador Sarah McGowan visited Atwell’s Harmony Primary School on Tuesday morning to share a story with students and discuss the benefits of reading regularly.

Mrs McGowan said it was vital parents realised the importance of reading aloud, especially at bedtime.

“Even when children have learned how to read it’s still really important they continue reading with their parents to build on their literacy skills,” she said.

“As a school teacher, reading is something I do every day and it is wonderful to have the opportunity to share some of the benefits of reading with many more children and their families across WA through this new initiative.”

The initiative contains a number of social media videos and online fact sheets which can be found at www.education.wa.edu.au/neverstopreading.