At Children’s House we offer the National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together Programme. We are now working with our sixth cohort of families and it is one of the most effective programmes we have run for supporting parents and carers to develop the home learning environment for their two to five year olds.
As educators we know that all parents want the very best for their children but are sometimes unsure of the best ways to support their child’s early literacy development
By literacy we mean:
Speaking singing, rhymes, talking
Writing early mark-making, scribbles, drawings
Reading books, print in the environment, for example signs, labels, packaging
Having good speaking and listening skills are the building blocks needed by children to develop reading and writing skills and to succeed in school.
The Early Words Together Programme supports families to understand the importance of early literacy development and the value of home learning. It is a volunteer led programme and we make full use of everything the local community has to offer including the Ideas Store (the library), local museums and places of interest.
Early Words Together really empowers our families because it helps parents to increase children’s enjoyment of early literacy activities. Participating in the Early Words Together programme improves children's communication, language and literacy skills and increases the frequency of their communication, language and literacy behaviours.
Throughout the programme parents/carers are supported to improve the home literacy environment by developing confidence, increasing knowledge and knowing about fun activities that they can do with children at home.
As one of our parents said:
“being part of the programme has really helped me, I now talk much more to my children, we read books every day and I can really see a difference in their language and confidence. Before I wasn’t sure exactly what to do to help my children with reading, now I have a good understanding of exactly what I can do to help my children succeed.”
The aims of the programme at Children’s House are:
Each family who takes part in Early Words Together receives:
A memory book that the child can use to keep examples of the things they create with their parent, notes of the books they have shared, trips they have been on etc
Free books and story props
An Early Words Together at Home activity Booklet
Volunteers receive training and a copy of the volunteer tool kit which will explain their role and support them in delivering sessions with families. Volunteers also receive a copy of the booklet "Early Words Together at Home" for use with their own families and to help them to encourage others they know to take part.
We work in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, The Penguin Group and Pearsons Education who kindly provide us with extra volunteers in addition to our trained volunteers.
Our data shows us that the children who have participated in the programme with their parents/carers make rapid gains in their speaking and listening, understanding and reading and writing skills.
If you are interested in joining the programme either as a volunteer or participant please see Ruheda Begum our parent support partner.
Click on the link below to learn more about the programme: