Early Reading Together® meets the need expressed by early childhood educators, librarians and parents/whānau for an effective family language/literacy programme to support younger children.
It is a workshop-based programme which helps parents/whānau of young children (babies to 5 and 6 year olds) to support their children's language and literacy development.
Early Reading Together® was developed and first implemented in 1983, and evolved from the implementation of Reading Together®, a workshop programme which: helps parents provide effective support for their children, especially when their children (usually from 5½ years onwards) are reading to their parent(s) at home; was developed within an experimental action-research project at Canterbury University in 1982; has been widely implemented throughout New Zealand since 1982; and has been shown to raise children's reading achievement in a significant and sustained manner.
Early Reading Together® is:
- designed to enhance the support which parents/whānau provide for their children's language and literacy development
- a programme comprising 3 workshops over 3 weeks (each workshop lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes)
- specifically designed to support children and parents from diverse language/literacy, cultural, educational and socio-economic backgrounds
- implemented by early childhood educators and/or junior school teachers, in collaboration with community librarians
- practical, user friendly, enjoyable and manageable for teachers, parents, librarians and children
- effective when it is implemented as described in the fully-scripted Workshop Leader's Handbook
- based on a sound theoretical and research framework.
Early Reading Together® helps parents to:
- Understand more fully the ways in which talking with young children and reading to them (from the time they are babies) helps the child's language and literacy development
- Explore additional ways of supporting children's language and reading development when they are reading stories and rhymes, and singing songs together
- Find out more about books, rhymes and songs which are suitable for young children and enjoyable for them
- Borrow books and other resources from libraries, and access support from librarians.
Overall and longer term goal of Early Reading Together®:
- To help all children to develop a love of language and reading and the range of language and literacy abilities they need to function confidently and effectively within their communities and wider society.
1. Early Reading Together®: Workshop Leader's Handbook
This handbook is intended for use by early childhood educators, junior school teachers and children's librarians who are interested in implementing the Early Reading Together programme for groups of parents whose children are at home, in early childhood centres, and in the first year of primary school.
2. Early Reading Together: Suggestions for helping young children with language and reading at home
This booklet for parents contains suggestions for enhancing children's language and literacy learning at home.
Although the booklet may be used by early childhood educators, teachers, librarians and parents as a 'stand-alone' resource, the suggestions have been shown to be much more meaningful and helpful to parents and children when they are discussed, demonstrated and practised during the workshop programme described in the Workshop Leader's Handbook.
3. Boz: A 'reading book' for adults
This is used for one of the activities within the workshop programme. Boz has a special alphabet which has been invented to help adults gain some understanding of what children experience as they are learning to read.
4. A set of rhymes and songs
The set contains six sheets of rhymes and songs. Parents are given two sheets at each workshop and are encouraged to enjoy these with their children at home. Or you can purchase sets of these sheets (a minimum of 10 sets) for parents or teachers at your early childhood service or playgroup.
Hon Hekia Parata and Hon Dr Pita Sharples
Press Release: Literacy programme to benefit more communities
15 MAY, 2014
More communities will benefit from an acclaimed school literacy programme, Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Dr Pita Sharples say.
An extra $2.4 million of operating funding over the next four years will go to the Reading Together Programme so it can expand to include more than 140 decile 4 and 5 schools.
Reading Together is a research-based programme that helps parents to support their children's reading at home.
“The extra money will cover the extension of the programme into all decile 4 schools and up to half of all decile 5 English medium schools,” Ms Parata says. “The programme will be available to students in Years 1 to 8 and their families.
“Research has identified Reading Together as a low-cost, high-impact programme with strong evidence of effectiveness. For example, children have gained a full year in their reading level within 12 weeks of starting the programme.”
Dr Sharples says expanding Reading Together beyond the decile 1 to 3 schools funded since 2011 gives more families the opportunity to share the programme’s benefits.
“It’s not just the child who benefits from this programme. Their brothers and sisters do, as well as their parents, whānau and school community. One of the real strengths of this programme is the focus on whānau. Now more communities can be a part of that.”
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