Much of our work in Middlesbrough is delivered by Early Years settings and local schools. We therefore rely on direct contact with families, schools, and local partners to have the biggest impact. As a result, we have adapted our approach to ensure that we can continue to support literacy in Middlesbrough during a time of uncertainty.
The Facebook page allows us to keep in touch with local families and create tailored activities specifically for children who live in Middlesbrough. We’re featuring resources from authors who have had a local impact, tips & tricks for reluctant readers, a Q&A with our Hub Manager, and we even have a local competition in the pipeline too!
Reaching disadvantaged families during lockdown is vital, as maintaining good literacy and reading habits can prevent children from falling behind their peers. Our research shows that children who enjoy reading have better life chances and are more likely to perform well at school.
We’re also using the Facebook page as a way to prevent parents from feeling overwhelmed by the vast amount of resources out there. We’re signposting to videos, activities, and apps that are available on our Family Zone – a one-stop-shop full of free, high quality resources.
We want the page to be a space where people can ask us questions and share ideas with other families. We’re also open to hear what people want to get out of Middlesbrough Reads during these challenging times.
“The Middlesbrough Reads Facebook page is a great way to keep in touch with local families during these difficult times. Although we’ve only been live for a couple of weeks, we’re seeing lots of people coming to the page an engaging with the ideas we’re sharing. Working in a virtual way gives us an opportunity to be creative with ways to support children’s development, and it’s certainly keeps the community spirit going”.Allison Potter, Middlesbrough Reads Manager