I am encouraging all children in Delyn to take part in World Book Day 2019 by delving into a book from a local library or school and for parents to spend time reading to their child.
World Book Day 2019 takes place on Thursday 07 March 2019 and is the biggest campaign on the planet to offer every child and young person the opportunity to read and love books.
Sadly, studies show that reading for pleasure is in decline and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, more than parents’ educational background or their income.
The National Literary Trust notes that if every child left primary school with the reading skills they need, our economy could be £30 billion bigger by 2025.
Research shows that reading to children with no agenda other than pure enjoyment has an enormously positive impact on their desire to read independently. Yet:
• 56% of 3-4 year-olds are read to daily or nearly every day – and this is in steep decline (down from 69% in 2013);
• As children become able to read independently, most parents stop reading with them, so that fewer than 19% of 8-10 year-olds are read to daily or nearly every day.
£1 book tokens will be distributed to over 15,000 educational establishments in the UK and Ireland.
World Book Day is rightly celebrated throughout our schools in Delyn. Some children will dress up as their favourite character and others will take advantage of their £1 book token to buy the book that will transport them to another place of imagination and endless possibilities.
World Book Day isn’t just a day for children, it is a day for parents as well. The figures make for worrying reading. The sharp decline in parents and guardians reading to their children for nothing other than enjoyment points to an issue that we must solve. As adults we must spark children’s love of books from a young age and reading with them is one of the best ways to do so.
This Thursday I hope to see people from across the constituency finding a new book to become enraptured by. We owe it to future generations to ensure that we pass on the gift of reading for pure enjoyment and we can do that by celebrating World Book Day.