Yesterday, Camilla and Kate were off to Random House for a drink and a chat at the launch of the National Literacy Trust’s Vote for Literacy Campaign, which aims to push all political parties to make literacy a priority. The NLT-ers have been busy bunnies, rebranding and relaunching their website, which is a treasure-trove, really, and if you don’t know it, have a look.
A recent YouGov survey, quoted on the NLT website, found that 92 % of the British public say literacy is vital to the economy and 87 % believe that good literacy skills are essential for children to cope in today’s multimedia society. However, the last PIRLS survey (due for an update soon) found that English children’s standard of reading was dropping in absolute terms and in comparison to reading standards in other countries, and that English children reported enjoying reading less than they had in the previous survey and less than kids in many other countries. The NLT’s own survey found that children think that readers are clever and successful, but also geeky/nerdy and boring … and children think that their friends think more negatively about readers than they do.
At Nosy Crow we know – because we feel it and have lived it in our own and other children’s lives; and because we’ve read the research – that:
- Reading for pleasure correlates with increased attainment in reading and writing.
- Reading for pleasure fosters creativity and imagination.
- Reading for pleasure develops good social attitudes.
- Reading for pleasure contributes to knowledge and understanding of the world.
- Reading for pleasure contributes to self-esteem.
We think that the best ways of encouraging children to read for pleasures are to supply them with things they want to read in print and digitally, and to get children to talk about reading with other children and with adults face-to-face and on-line.
So there you go.