We’ve talked about the importance and benefits of children having a strong grasp on literacy here, including some of the negative outcomes associated with low literacy levels in adult life like unemployment, social exclusion and disadvantage.
Literacy skills are so important because they are about more than being able to read and write. The broader perspective of literacy reflects a person’s ability to design, speak and listen, make sense of the world, follow instructions, organise information and interpret signs and symbols.
In a nutshell, literacy skills are fundamental to a child’s development and it’s why they are actively developed in our centres around the nation.
Developing fun and engaging ways to teach literacy skills is high on the agenda for Goodstart teachers, which is part of the inspiration behind Emily Smith’s creation of her new literacy project, Storytime Lane.
Learning literacy skills should be fun
Emily is a teacher at Goodstart Tuggerah and working with author and illustrator Graham Davidson, has created a ‘one-stop-literacy shop’ for educators and families.
Storytime Lane is a multi-dimensional approach to reading which includes a YouTube channel with animated readings and a website with free resources and activities.
Emily said she was concerned by declining literacy rates in Australia and felt compelled to do something about it.
“It is apparent that fostering a love of reading in the early years is vital if we are to see any improvement in literacy rates,” Emily said.
“For this to happen however, the stories we are telling, and the ways in which we are telling them, need to be engaging.
“It is our hope that Storytime Lane will provide this kind of impactful storytelling as well as act as a model for educators and parents that they can use in their own storytelling with children.
“We also hope that the activities and resources we have created will add another layer of interest and engagement to the stories.”
There are many ways to encourage literacy development in children, but our top tips are:
What can you do to encourage your child’s literacy development?
- Read early and often. Reading daily to your child is one of the best ways you can support your child to develop literacy skills, and it provides so many other benefits too.
- Tell stories in a fun and engaging way that keeps your child coming back for more.
- Sing songs and nursery rhymes. It’s a fun and easy way to teach your child language, rhyme, repetition and rhythm.
- Involve children in your own daily talks that involve literacy. Simple, everyday things like making a shopping list, following a recipe, reading a menu or following directional signs are great for building an interest in the uses of words and their meaning.