By 2016, the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016 has the goal of reducing the proportion of pupils with serious literacy difficulties in primary schools serving disadvantaged communities to less than 15%. Multiple studies on literacy indicate that when links are initiated between school, home and the community, literacy disadvantage is reduced.
Family Teamwork Is Key To Child Literacy
One example is families with deaf children, working as a team with their visiting & school teachers to develop a child’s language and literacy skills. This approach extends into the community if families can avail of book clubs or reading initiatives at a local or school library.
Each family (and child) has specific needs, so a tailored approach is needed in any co-ordinated intervention to encourage literacy development.
Sound Advice recently noted that the more literate children are before starting school, the better their schooling is. At the NESF event, Professor Kathy Hall from UCC, echoed this point by quoting Emilie Buchwald, ‘children are made readers in the laps of their parents’ – namely that literacy starts at home.
The NESF’s recommendations for child literacy & social inclusion were outlined by Dr Jeanne Moore (NESF) and Professor Aine Hyland, Team Chair.
Key success factors for child literacy:
- family-focused and community supports
- parental co-operation with local initiatives
- effective schools
- good teaching that includes digital literacy
- professional education and development