herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Read to children, they 'gain so much from it'

EDUCATION

Mahnoor Owais (6), Caleb Roche (5), and Adriana Bucur from Our Lady of Victories school in Ballymun, Dublin, with their favourite books. Photo: Caroline Quinn
Mahnoor Owais (6), Caleb Roche (5), and Adriana Bucur from Our Lady of Victories school in Ballymun, Dublin, with their favourite books. Photo: Caroline Quinn

SCHOOLchildren joined Lord Mayor Christy Burke at the Mansion House yesterday to read aloud from their favourite books.

Mr Burke was treated to passages from books such as Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Wonder by RJ Palacio.

The Literacy Association of Ireland, which organised the event, said it was is keen to promote the importance of reading aloud to children to help them to develop their literary skills.

"Recent research shows that reading aloud to children at home is very important," the association's Kate Turley told the Herald.

"It helps to develop their comprehension, their language skills and, particularly, their confidence.

"Anyone can do it, from an older sibling to a grandparent.

"We really want to promote the traditional idea of story-telling because children gain so much from that."

Hearing stories from adults every day means children will develop the confidence to read aloud themselves.

Ms Turley works as a resource teacher in a Dublin school and believes the Read Aloud initiative should be rolled out to all schools.

Story-teller Niall de Burca was also on hand to entertain the young guests at the Mansion House.

Dr Mark Morgan, Professor of Education and Psychology at St Patrick's College, Drumcondra, who has conducted numerous studies on literacy, was another speaker at the event.

The literacy advocacy group is embracing the fact that all readers are now increasingly consuming reading material in a digital form.

However, whatever the medium, the importance of reading aloud cannot be underestimated, said Ms Turley.

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