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Reading from the Start: Supporting families living in poverty
Our award-winning Reading from the Start project has been supporting families with children under five to foster a love of books and learning.
This year, 51 volunteers hosted interactive weekly reading corner sessions in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Thamesmead, Waltham Forest and Islington, encouraging a love of reading and books in children through arts and crafts, singing and reading.
In partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and VINCI Facilities, we’ve provided almost 500 children with a free book straight to their door every month, removing the financial barriers to reading and addressing the growing gap in literacy and educational attainment in early years.
Peabody resident Rebecca Verlander, mother of 2-year-old Brenden, has been registered with the project for 14 months. Here’s what she had to say: “Since registering for Reading from the Start’s free books, we now have a book shelf in the living room where we are building a large selection of books. Brenden chooses different stories from the book shelf, bringing me his favourite books for me to read every day.
This is a massive change; he never used to ask to read books before. He gets excited every time a new one arrives. Brenden is speech delayed and reading has really helped improve his vocabulary. I’ve noticed that his behaviour has changed quite a lot too, he enjoys all the different stories and he listens, joins in and engages. He’s just a lot more calm and responsive. I also feel more confident reading books with Brenden.
I was getting sick of reading the same books to him over and over again but now we have a variety of books, I enjoy our time reading together much more.”