What has inspired us at Nursery Story to take action?
As Early Years Professionals, you will know the importance of books and shared reading for young children. Sharing books with under-fives activates the pathways associated with literacy skills, laying the foundations for reading success.
- Children who are exposed to a strong literacy environment at an early age have better academic outcomes.
- Reading stories also helps to broaden children’s horizons, builds their confidence and develops their emotions.
- In short, books are a key building block for children’s future success and wellbeing.
Unfortunately, many children simply do not have the opportunity to explore books at home. Research shows that children living in poverty often have less access to books, experience less shared reading, and their exposure to language models at home can be limited. The effects of poverty can mean that parents have less time and money to spend on shared reading – and, since the pandemic hit, the situation is getting worse.
Even before Covid-19, 31% of all British children were growing up in poverty. The uncertainty of the last 18 months has created financial stress for so many families, increasing the risk to, and experience of, poverty across the UK.
We want to make sure that children in these families do not miss out on the joys and the benefits of growing up with books.
With most of our team based in Scotland, when we found out about Children 1st, Scotland’s national children’s charity, and their partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, this seemed like the perfect fit and we wanted to get involved.