Wattle Grove: dads key to bedtime reading routine

Never Stop Reading Ambassador Sarah McGowan read to Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students at Wattle Grove Primary School. Photo: David Baylis
Never Stop Reading Ambassador Sarah McGowan read to Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students at Wattle Grove Primary School. Photo: David Baylis

DADS are being asked not to close the book on the bedtime reading routine after their child learns to read.

Never Stop Reading! ambassador Sarah McGowan recently visited Wattle Grove Primary School to talk with children and parents about regular reading.

The primary school teacher and mother of three said reading aloud is essential learning and a valuable bedtime ritual to share.

“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.

The Never Stop Reading! Program came about after research showed parents are giving up on the daily reading habit 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.

Dr Merga said raising awareness of the benefits of reading aloud was needed more than ever.

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

The research put the spotlight on dads and the bedtime reading ritual.

“Our more recent research with children from six to 12 years old found that less than half were read to by their dads,” Dr Merga said.

“If we can encourage more dads to get on board, they can make just as powerful a difference as mums.

“It’s a special time for kids when their parents spend it with them at the end of the day.”