BookTrust and St Christopher’s Fellowship champion family-focused reading this summer
Published on: 07 September 2023
BookTrust and St Christopher's Fellowship are working together to design a new reading programme for children in and on the edge of care.
BookTrust has announced a collaboration with foster families from St Christopher's Fellowship - a sector-leading charity which has supported children and young people in care since 1870.
BookTrust and St Christopher's have teamed up for a series of workshops which will help to design a new reading programme for children in and on the edge of care.
Throughout the summer, a series of joint activities encouraging and celebrating reading together have been taking place with St Christopher's foster carers and the young people they look after.
Families have been given bespoke resource packs developed by BookTrust, which help to facilitate fun and interactive reading experiences in the home.
The packs include age-appropriate books, engaging activities related to the stories for children to do with their foster parent, and further book recommendations to encourage continued shared reading. The packs are based on BookTrust's extensive success in designing reading experiences for children and young people.
The benefits of reading together
A regular reading habit can help children build bonds, strengthen their relationships with others, improve wellbeing, educational attainment and significantly improve their life chances. For children from vulnerable family backgrounds, these benefits can be transformative.
Reading stories which reflect children's own lives and the world around them strengthens their sense of identity and belonging, while also supporting social, emotional and mental wellbeing. Such stories can also help difficult conversations to take place.
The closeness of reading together helps create deeper bonds and builds trust, while also supporting a sense of familiarity and security – all of which are vital for children who have experienced and are overcoming challenges.
Annie Crombie, Deputy Chief Executive at BookTrust said:
"Working with St Christopher's in this way is brilliant for us because we are dedicated to providing effective and valuable interventions for young people in care. Getting this direct input from them and their carers ensures our resources and programmes truly fulfil our aims.
"This collaborative approach is key, because we know that the children who read regularly are more likely to overcome disadvantages caused by inequalities. They are happier, healthier and experience better mental wellbeing and self-esteem which is what we want for every child - but for children who have had a more difficult start in life, reading really can help bridge gaps and give access to a world of opportunities."
Pauline Griffith, Acting Head of Fostering at St Christopher's in the UK, added: "We were extremely happy to see the young people in our care so engaged and excited by the books and educational games they had the opportunity to enjoy. We look forward to further workshops with BookTrust, both in person and online."
This recent collaboration is part of an ongoing relationship between the two charities, who are working together to help create brighter futures for children and young people through innovation and joint initiatives.
The Next Chapter - our strategy
There’s never been a more urgent time for us to inspire a new generation of children on their reading journeys. The Next Chapter sets out how we will get every child reading, regularly and by choice, so they can reap the lifechanging benefits of reading.