SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has supported a new ‘Reading together changes lives’ campaign by the charity Booktrust – and is encouraging parents and carers of young children in Derry and throughout the North to read regularly to their children.
Booktrust gifts books to every baby and young child in the UK and seeks to motivate parents to read to their children.
Mr Durkan said: “Reading to children is fun and it gives them a better start in life by helping their language, wellbeing, confidence and concentration. All the evidence is that the more they are read to, the better they do.”
Fiona Protheroe, a mother of two who is also supporting the campaign with her eight-year-old son James, said: “The earlier you start reading, the more it becomes part of your family life. Getting a Booktrust pack when your child is a baby makes books special. James’s dad found the tips really useful at getting over his awkwardness about reading to the kids!”
Viv Bird, chief executive of Booktrust, said, “We really appreciate Mark Durkan’s support. Whatever their background, we know that children who are read to regularly at age five do better in vocabulary, spelling and maths at age 16. Even if you’re not a great reader, you can still help your child by telling the stories using the pictures and talking to them about what you see.”