Read for pleasure!
There’s endless creativity to be found in the world of storytelling, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in great stories than by becoming a reader.
Sharing the joy of reading for fun
We are extremely pleased to partner with Farshore, a leading UK children’s publisher that invests extensive research into children’s reading for pleasure.
Why is reading for pleasure so important?
Reading for pleasure is linked to higher attainment, and its impact is incredible – it’s more influential on a child’s academic success than family background (ie where the child was born, parents’ education, parents’ income).
Being able to read well allows children to understand new information – no matter the subject. Children who read for pleasure regularly attain better academic results across all disciplines, not just English.
Reading for pleasure has an enormous positive emotional impact. 76% of children with a high mental wellbeing think positively about reading. However, for children who have low mental wellbeing, fewer than half think positively about reading. Reading reduces depression, increases self-confidence and resilience, and helps relaxation.
Reading is vital for developing children’s understanding of the world and their place in it. It helps them understand others and develop compassion, consideration, tolerance, and empathy.
Being able to interpret information through reading is perhaps more important now than it has ever been. The ability to read well and read critically supports our ability to analyse and think critically too. If children can’t interpret the world critically, they can be manipulated by fake news and false information spreading online.
With so many competing interests for children’s time at home, including a huge increase in time spent on digital devices and screens, it may not be a surprise to learn that reading for pleasure is in long-term decline.
In 2020, 33% of 6-11s read daily or nearly every day, for pleasure, not for schoolwork. Back in 2014 it was 41%. That’s a decline of 20%.
Many children don’t think of reading as something they could enjoy; they are most likely to think of it as schoolwork. This is because the curriculum focus has been on teaching the ability to read (although this is changing) and because parents understand reading primarily as a skill to learn, with reading homework that must be done. These things make reading more of a task to be completed than a pleasure for children.
Farshore’s mission is to make every child a proud reader. Given the pressures teachers and families are under, they wanted to focus their research on more practical approaches, to understand how we could break down barriers and support parents, carers, teachers and children in encouraging a love of reading.
The good news is that their specific intervention projects have consistently resulted in changing attitudes to reading and creating new reading habits at home and in school. It looks like harnessing the benefits of more regular reading for fun is far easier and more enjoyable than initially anticipated - and that's what we're all about.