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This summer, 'Read On Get On' has been inspiring parents to make stories with their young children out of the everyday things around them - to get imagining and to help them develop the language skills they need for reading when they starting primary school.
Over one in ten children in Scotland are already behind in their language skills by age three. Children experiencing poverty are twice as likely as their peers to be behind. The Read On Get On campaign wants to get all five-year-olds ready to read and to make sure that every child leaving primary school is able to read well.
Children start developing language skills in their first months and years of life. The support they get early on can make the difference between having a strong start or falling behind before they even get to school. A new report, Ready to Read: closing the gap in early language skills so that every child in Scotland can read well, sets out the issues in more detail.
Read On Get On is using popular children's characters, Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly, and Topsy and Tim, to create story starters - activities with pictures and words to help get toddlers talking. Parents and professionals can get these at www.readongeton.org.uk and in local libraries.
The website also has resources and tips which early language experts have developed for parents and carers help their children boost language and reading skills. They help families make anytime storytime - on the bus, in the coffee shop, playing in the park, or in the doctor's waiting room. Parents don't need to be big readers themselves or have lots of books lying around - it's about getting into the habit of using everyday objects, pictures and words, talking about them and creating stories.
Save the Children is keen to get feedback from anyone using the story starters: Readongeton@savethechildren.org.uk or @readongeton
Other articles published in our Sept 2015 newsletter:
Other articles about early learning and language development: