IT gadgets encourage children to read
E-readers and tablet computers encourage youngsters to read, a survey of UK parents conducted at the beginning of the month suggests. It reveals that parents believe these gadgets help capture children’s interest in books.
Just under half of the 500 parents questioned by the Reading Agency said they think electronic items such as Kindles, Sony Readers and iPads encourage their sons and daughters to read more.
One in four (26 per cent) said they have bought their children electronic reading aids, with a further 16 per cent saying they have either paid for, or let their youngsters use their e-readers and tablet computers.
But less than two-thirds (61 per cent) of those polled said that they have registered their child at the local library, or borrowed books for them to read.
Three-quarters (76 per cent) said they encourage their children to read by getting them to read aloud to family members, while almost four-fifths (79 per cent) said they buy books, comics and magazines.
And more than half (58 per cent) said they make sure their child sees them and other adults reading.
The poll comes as the Reading Agency launches its 2012 Summer Reading Challenge.
The challenge encourages four to 11-year-olds to read six books of their choice from their local library during the summer holidays.
Children earn stickers for the books they read, and get a certificate or medal for completing the challenge.
Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson said: “The Summer Reading Challenge brings together two of my favourite things – reading and libraries.
“It’s free, it’s a fun thing to do in the summer holidays and it’s going to create lots of lifelong readers.”
Reading Agency chief executive Miranda McKearney, said: “We must not deny any child the library’s help – children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above-average readers.
“No home library can ever provide the rich reading support on offer in public libraries.
“Let’s make this summer one about building a fairer society by introducing every family to libraries’ vibrant, motivating support to help turn children into readers for life.”