Private Tutors Help Give Reading Books To Children Living In The Poorest Homes.

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Private Tutors Help to Give Children's Books

Teachers2Tutor was established in order to help young people and adults reach their learning potential. We also wanted to provide a service that offered better value and a higher quality of tuition for those who needed it. We believe we have achieved this goal.

Recently, Teachers2Tutor has become increasingly concerned for young people who come from poorer socio-economic backgrounds.Our pledge was, and still is, to help ALL young people achieve their learning potential.  When reading about the Read On Get On Initiative, we were saddened to learn that many young people from less fortunate backgrounds grow up with little or no children's books in their homes. This has a serious impact on children's academic achievement once they start school. Sadly, the attainment gap between privileged and underprivileged children often remains or even widens as children progress through their schooling. This can lead to children achieving less qualifications or leaving the education system at a much earlier stage of their lives.

Teachers2Tutor wish to reduce this attainment gap by helping to ensure that all young people have access to fun and engaging reading books in their homes. This is why we have decided to donate a children's book to local schools each time one of our tutors are hired. We are very proud that these books will be given to the children who need them most as a gift; ensuring more children from the least affluent backgrounds will begin to have more literacy rich homes. 

 

Books in the Home - Making a Difference

 

The Scottish Attainment Challenge has seen the Scottish Government recently commit 180 million pound over the next four years in order to close the attainment gap in Scotland via The Attainment Scotland Fund. The fund provides additional finances and resources to the most deprived geographical locations within Scottish education. The goal of the challenge is to aid in eradicating the gap in educational attainment between those children from affluent and poorer backgrounds. The Scottish Government seek to achieve this highly ambitious and commendable goal within the next 10 years. However there are many schools and locations which fall just short of the requirements needed to benefit from this fund.  If the attainment gap is to be truly eradicated, all children from poorer socio-economic backgrounds should be given support in ensuring they have the best start to their education and this support should continue throughout the duration of their education.

So what can be done?

 

Nearly half of the lowest income households have fewer than 10 books in them. 

Stop for a moment and let your mind fully process that statement...Almost half of young children from the poorest homes, may well begin school having experienced less than 10 books in their home. What is even more concerning, is that this figure is inclusive of library books that may be brought in to the home.

Many of us were extremely fortunate and grew up with our parents sharing beautiful stories about Thomas The Tank Engine, The Gruffulo, Winnie The Witch and enjoyed learning the words to our favourite nursery rhymes and songs. Imagine for a moment that we were not that lucky. Imagine we had never been read to as a child or never had our curiosity fuelled by flicking through nursery rhymes or pictures books. Would things have turned out differently for us? Perhaps. Would the road to our current profession have been a much more difficult one? Almost certainly!

According to a report by the Read On Get On initiative, children who have grown up living in the most deprived areas are considerably less likely to be able to read well than their classmates. In fact 1 in 4 children from deprived areas are underperforming in reading and 1 in 2 are underperforming in writing by the early stages of their secondary education.2

This is a horrifying statistic and one which can be greatly reduced by the provision of  children's books in the home. By providing books which can support young children in the development of phonological awareness through nursery rhymes, story books, songs or picture books; children begin to develop the skills they need to read.3

The importance of reading material in the home was perfectly articulated by Jonathan Douglas, The National Literacy Trust director, who said:

“Our research illustrates the clear link with literacy resources at home and a child’s reading ability... By ensuring children have access to reading materials in the home and by encouraging children to love reading, families can help them to do well at school and to enjoy opportunities throughout their life.”

The importance of ensuring all children have access to a rich selection of reading materials was further emphasised during a recent study carried out by the National Literacy Trust which identified a link between regular access to books in the home and higher attainment. The study found that out of the children who achieved higher attainment in reading assessments, 80% owned their own books while only 58% of children who performed below expectations owned their own books. The study also arrived at the conclusion that keeping as few as 20 books in the home considerably enhances a child's chances of performing well at school.

The evidence is clear. We can make a difference to young children who need our help most and we can do this by ensuring all young children, regardless of their background, grow up in a home which has ample reading material to stimulate their early learning and literacy development. Helping to provide literacy rich homes will go a long way in ensuring children do not come to school already facing a disadvantage, something which the evidence suggests they may never recover from. Teachers2Tutor are proud to reveal our book donation pledge and are excited to see our book donations go to good use in local areas near you.

I think Dr Seuss said it best in his wonderful book, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, when he wrote:

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

 

 

End Notes 

1. Andrerson et al (2007) Growing up in Scotland: Sweep 1 Overview report p128, 129.

2. Scottish Government (2012) The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy 2012 (Literacy)

3. Scottish Government (2013) Growing up in Scotland: Birth Cohort 2. Results from Year 1.

4. Christina Clarke et al (2010) Young People’s Reading: The Importance of the home environment and family support.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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