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The Importance of Reading for Pleasure

Published : 27 October 2017

The Importance of Reading for Pleasure

Developing a child’s love of reading for pleasure, not just teaching them the skills to read, has many far-reaching benefits, not only to a child’s intelligence but their emotional wellbeing and psychological development. For example, as detailed in research findings by The Reading Agency, ‘reading for pleasure is more important for children’s cognitive development than their parent’s level of education’.

The research also found that reading for pleasure has been linked to a reduction in the symptoms of stress and depression and the risk of developing dementia in later life. Adults who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life and happier.

As would be expected, there are also obvious educational benefits and The Reading Agency documents that ‘there is a difference in reading performance equivalent to just over a year’s schooling between young people who never read for enjoyment and those who read for up to 30 minutes per day’.

Book Buddies

This is why we started Book Buddies; an initiative to partner up children throughout the school from Nursery to Year 6 for fun, inspiring reading sessions. By creating relaxed, sociable opportunities for children of all ages to spend time together sharing books, we intend to promote a love of reading throughout the school.

This also provides the opportunity for friendships to be fostered, nurtured and developed throughout the school between children of varying ages, adding to our friendly, nurturing environment.

Encourage reading in the school holidays

At St Ives we believe that it is imperative that children continue to read either on their own or with parents to ensure they maintain their skills. For children who need a little encouragement, try alternative reading material to capture their imaginations such as comics, magazine or recipe books even! Make games where they can use and develop their reading or phonics skills such as on car journeys using number plates or signs as part of the games. But most of all, be a reading role model for your child. If they see that you enjoy reading books, they are more likely to want to read for themselves.

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