READING levels have hit a nine-year high with growing numbers of children picking up a book out of class.
Research by the National Literacy Trust has shown a 28 per cent increase in the number of children who read on a daily basis - but many parents appear to be unaware of how vital their support is for their children’s reading and the gender gap is growing between girls’ and boys’ reading. In Yorkshire, 52.5 per cent of children questioned said they enjoy reading quite a lot or very much, and just under two in five, 38.8 per cent, read daily outside of class.
However, a breakdown of the figures show that girls are keener on reading than boys, and more than half still prefer watching television to reading.
Leeds author Hilary Robinson, who has written over 50 children’s books, said relentless campaigning by authors, librarians, teachers and parents was encouraging a love of books, but it could not be forced.
She said: “The worst thing a parent can do if a child loses interest in reading is to force them - its up to us as authors to find ways in which to engage them. There will always be authors that come along that engage boys, like Anthony Horowitz and David Walliams, who are doing a great job of making reading cool.”
The YEP has joined forces with literacy charity Beanstalk to recruit of 50 volunteers to provide pupils with one-to-one support as part of our Get Leeds Reading campaign.
We are also urging parents and carers to read with children for at least 10 minutes ever day, after we revealed how almost 1,000 pupils left primary schools in Leeds last year without learning to read properly.