Introducing the “Room to Grow” reading scheme

A little while ago we were invited to take part in the Room to Grow reading scheme . . .

I’m pretty obsessive about reading to my children and sharing books with them. I genuinely think its the single most important thing you can do to help support their education – the simple act of a bedtime story increases their vocabularly, broadens their horizons, develops their reading and even impacts on their own writing.  We LOVE books in our house.

It really saddens me to know that “England is the only developed country to be producing school leavers who are worse at reading than their Grandparents” – how have we let this happen?  I know first hand how hard teachers and children are working in schools – I truely believe the biggest factor in this is just that children spend SO much less time reading now than in previous generations.  I used to read all the time when I was at school – often getting told off for trying to read under the covers after the lights were off at bedtime!

In light of this research the people at Room to Grow HQ found themselves thinking “What can we do to encourage more reading at home?” – of course it would be lovely to know that every child had their own personal library of books at home but that’s a pretty expensive ambition so they came up with the idea of a “parent book share scheme” – which is essentially a library by post!  They send you a book, you read it and enjoy it and send it back in a prepaid envelope . . . and the cycle continues over a three month period.

What I love about this most is the lack of effort involved on my part – I’m full of good intentions when it comes to library visits but it’s not something we ever really manage to do.  Of course my children are lucky enough to have a huge number of books at their disposal but it’s always nice to read something new (even if just to stop Mummy and Daddy going insane reading the same thing over and over at bedtime!)  The people at Room to Grow know the ages of my children and send books to suit – meaning we might actually get some books we wouldn’t ordinarily have looked it – and if they really like the book we’ve been sent I can always go out and buy it later on.

The first book we were sent was by Dr Seuss – and I have to admit I’ve never really “got” Dr Seuss books, I just find them odd – so I wouldn’t automatically pick one up to read.  Ben and Chloe really enjoyed it though – Ben especially liked all the silly rhymes and illustrations.  This means to me the scheme is already a success as it has introduced Ben and Chloe to a new author, broadened their literary horizons and this in children who already have a love of books.  In theory the impact could be even greater on children who spend less time reading!

I can’t wait to see what we get sent next!

1 Comment

  1. November 30, 2013 / 7:10 pm

    I think this is a great idea, as like you, I'm very passionate about reading with my family, too (and used to get in trouble for reading under the covers!). Similarly, we've not tried Dr Seuss, but as you say, that's the nice thing about this scheme as you will get different titles and more variety than you'd perhaps choose yourself. Hope you all continue to enjoy it.

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