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News story

Young Readers Programme has particularly positive impact on disengaged readers

29 Sep 2016

Kids reading in tent.JPG

A new evaluation published today shows that children who don’t see themselves as good readers or don't enjoy reading are much more likely to do so after taking part in the Young Readers Programme.

At the end of the programme, children who didn’t see themselves as good readers were more likely to say that they enjoy reading (58.3%, up from 41.7%) and a greater percentage agree that they get excited when reading and can’t wait to read more (from 30.6% to 44.4%).

Now in its 20th year, our Young Readers Programme motivates children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to read for enjoyment. Children take part in a series of fun literacy-focused events which help them acquire the skills and knowledge they need to develop their own identities as readers. The children taking part in the project are able to choose free books of their own to keep at three events throughout the year, helping to sustain their positive experiences of books and reading.

Overall the 2015/16 evaluation of the Young Readers Programme showed that children who took part developed more positive attitudes towards reading and demonstrated improved book choosing skills, a key feature of the programme.

The findings of a survey completed by teachers found that:

  • 100% observed that their pupils were pleased to have books of their ownand that book ownership is a positive aspect of the programme
  • 98.4% said the fact that children can choose from a wide range of books is a positive aspect of the programme

Teachers also reported changes to pupils’ attitudes and attainment:

  • 93.1% of teachers said their pupils’ enjoyment of reading increased as a result of the programme
  • 92.1% noticed a positive change in their pupils’ reading attainment after the programme
89.7% of teaching staff who responded to the survey believed their pupils were more enthusiastic about reading following the programme.

Our evaluation also showed that children who took part in the Young Readers Programme read a wider range of materials after taking part, suggesting that the programme has the potential to ignite a love of reading in those who have not yet fully explored their reading preferences.

Read the full Young Readers Programme evaluation

Find out more about the Young Readers Programme.

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