Who is running this project?

This project is led by Dr Holly Joseph and Dr Daisy Powell, Institute of Education.

What is this project about?

Research shows that the home literacy environment, the extent to which children experience books and shared storybook reading activities at home, is a strong predictor of children’s later reading skills (Senechal & Lefevre, 2002). However, it is critical that families are supported to be able to engage in these sorts of activities if needed. This project brings together ongoing community projects and participatory research in Whitley, Reading. The focus is on creating an environment in which family literacy can thrive. This has been done through weekly storybook reading sessions in community centres in Whitley (in which all families were given a copy of the book read each week), a monthly book club for parents, and a pilot summer school for pre-schoolers focusing on early literacy (and numeracy) skills. These initiatives have been developed in partnership with local parents, teachers and community leaders to serve the needs and preferences of families in Whitley on their terms, while ensuring that all activities are evidence-based and sustainable.

The project is funded by the Research England participatory research fund and Reading Community Fund.