Con­tinue the story for older read­ers

Stirling Times - - Local Focus -

THE wife of Pre­mier Mark Mc­Gowan has chal­lenged fel­low par­ents to read with their chil­dren at home, even once they are ca­pa­ble of read­ing to them­selves.

Back­ing up univer­sity re­search that has found less than half of Perth’s stu­dents in years 4 to 6 are read to at home, Sarah Mc­Gowan wants more par­ents to con­tinue the nightly rou­tine for older chil­dren.

“Just read­ing to some­one makes you a bet­ter reader,” she said.

“It’s easy to say ‘there’s a book, go read it’ but we re­ally need to read aloud – it’s fun to read to your chil­dren and helps strengthen your bond with them.”

Curtin Univer­sity lit­er­acy re­searcher Mar­garet Merga said par­ents were giv­ing up on daily read­ing too early and es­pe­cially en­cour­aged men to take an ac­tive role.

“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,” Dr Merga said.

“Less than half of six to 12-year-olds were read to by their dads.

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

Ms Mc­Gowan is the am­bas­sador for a new De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion pro­gram, Never Stop Read­ing.

“As a school teacher I am very pleased and ex­cited to be the am­bas­sador of this.”

Pic­ture: Jon Hew­son­mu­ni­ d481581

Sarah Mc­Gowan reads to year 3,4,5 and 6 stu­dents.

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