All the research done by the National Literacy Trust shows that Parents are the biggest influence on educational attainment for children aged up to 14 years. I keep saying that I always believe that parents want to do the best for their children but if they don't know what that is, how can they do it?
The Early Words Together Programme shows parents what they can do at home to help pre-schoolers: sharing books together, nursery rhymes, mark making etc which will make a big difference to their children. The sessions will be fun!
We start our first lot of these this week with sessions at Springhill Children's Centre today at 1.30, Chadsmead Children's Centre on Wednesday at 1.30 and Willows Children's Centre on Friday at 1.30pm. We're also doing Wombourne, Featherstone and Landywood Children's Centres after half-term.
We are working closley with the library service and will have visits from the library staff to explain what the library offers these days. Many still think they are the quiet, boring places portrayed by films. No-one wants to take a pre-schooler anywhere where they have to be quiet or get told off for making a noise! However, the reality is so different. Take Lichfield library for example: they actively welcome small children and even have sessions just for them. Liz Leyshon from Lichfield library has a puppet with a back pack and his own library card which tempts most to want to join. Parents can benefit too with magazine and books available as downloads to members. Liz will be visiting Willows and Chadsmead and her colleagues will come to the other sessions.
We'll also be introducing families to what the Children's Centres can offer. They have fantastic menu of events for pre-school children with advice and support too.
We aim for this to be the start of parental engagement in their child's learning. We're looking forwards to starting and seeing how the families get on.