Council pushes family reading sessions

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Books. Pic by JMU Journalism

Books. Pic by JMU Journalism

Liverpool City Council has launched a new initiative to try to get more young children reading while encouraging their parents to promote reading as a family.

‘Fall into Reading’, which will be in effect during the autumn period, is inviting parents and children to attend various meetings across the city’s libraries in the hope that more families will read together.

Today’s decision that the council will not now close 11 of the city’s 19 libraries will be a boost to the campaign, and one councillor is keen to stress the benefits of the scheme.

Councillor Lana Orr, Mayoral Lead for Reading Performance, believes that reading gives young children a creative platform in their development.

Speaking at the first event on Saturday, Cllr Orr told JMU Journalism: “I think it’s so important for children to be introduced to books and stories. Not only is it good for their education and future prospects, it’s also fun.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on providing opportunities for children and their families to read for pleasure – this is so important. Books and stories can help unleash children’s creativity and imagination and at the same time help them do better at school.”

While the scheme is aiming to have a positive impact in the development of children, she hopes that parents who lack confidence in their own reading skills will also benefit. She added: “We understand that sometimes adults aren’t all that confident in their own reading abilities, so we want to do as much as we can to support and encourage them to help them share this valuable skill with their loved ones.

“It’s all about getting people in the community reading for fun and giving support and encouragement to help families read together.”

Nick Small, Cabinet Member for Employment and Skills, is also hoping the parents who read with their children regularly will develop their own confidence and literacy skills, ultimately leading to them becoming more employable. He said: “Liverpool’s Adult Learning Service offers a range of courses to help people develop skills and assist them in to work – so it’s great that we can work in partnership with the launch of Fall into Reading to promote the courses to as many people as possible. We do as much as we can to help residents hone skills and find employment.”

Fall into Reading, is part of Liverpool’s City of Readers project, which was created as part of Mayor Joe Anderson’s pledge to improve education standards and to prevent any child from leaving primary school without being able to read.

Additional reporting by Megan Hill

About Liam Cotton, JMU Journalism