North East Connected

Charity highlights importance of reading throughout childhood

The impact of books throughout childhood is being highlighted by a local children’s charity this World Book Day.
Children North East, a regional children’s charity, focuses on children growing up healthy and happy, and highlights the importance of books at every stage.
Last year, the charity worked with 245 families throughout the region. During initial visits with each of the families, a welcome pack is given which always includes books for every child, highlighting how important they are in a child’s life.
Here’s how the charity uses books throughout its services:
Lesley Hutchinson, NEWPIP Service Manager at Children North East, said: “It’s never too early to talk, sing and read to your baby. Speaking and reading to your bump will help you to develop a special relationship with your baby and enable them to feel attached to you quickly when they are born.
Spending quiet time reading to your baby isn’t just good for bonding, the more words your baby hears in their first weeks and months, the better their language skills are likely to be later on.”
Tracey Welsh, Families and Parenting Services Manager at Children North East, said: “Although your child may not understand the meaning of what you say in those early days, they will pick up the different rhythms and sounds of words and regular reading will help them understand that books are fun and enjoyable.
Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’re able to help families make Story Sacks to help encourage enjoyment of reading. The sacks contain a book as well as other items that will help extend the child’s learning. We encourage parents to make puppets and invent songs that relate to that particular book; with the parents enjoying it as much as the child.”
Lynn Renwick, Young People’s Services Manager at Children North East, said: “Many teenagers do not read as much as they could, but it is a great way for them to broaden their knowledge, creativity and supports them to achieve more in education. It also enables them to see that everyone faces problems in their lives and may even help teenagers see ways in which they can overcome problems as a form of self help.”
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