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Literacy news

Read On. Get On. partners with Ladybird to help get children ready to read

10 Aug 2015

Read On. Get On. – a coalition of leading charities, teachers and businesses – has today launched a free nationwide giveaway of ‘story starters’ to help parents engage in conversation with young children.

In partnership with Ladybird, the activities aim to help families chat with their children to develop their language and communication skills. The story starters feature much loved children’s characters Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly and Topsy & Tim in every day fun situations to help families create stories wherever they are.  

The activities are available in every library and children’s centre in our three National Literacy Trust Hubs in Middlesbrough, Peterborough and Bradford.  Parents can also access the story starters on the Read On. Get On. website from today, along with links to resources that help develop children’s language and literacy skills, including our Words for Life website.

The initiative comes as research from Read On. Get On. shows that young children ask up to eight questions a day and parents are unable to answer at least half of them. Adults find questions about life events such as the arrival of a new brother or sister the most challenging, with nearly half of parents reporting that they find these difficult to answer. Additionally a quarter of the adults’ surveyed were perplexed by their children’s science questions such as “why is the sky blue?” and “how many stars are there in the sky?”

The latest report from the coalition, Ready to Read, shows that this questioning should be an encouraging sign for mums and dads. Asking lots of ‘why?’ questions is a key stage in language development which is vital in getting children ready to learn to read when they enter the classroom. 

Speech and Language Therapist Kate Freeman says: 

“Studies find that if children don’t have strong language skills at age five they can get left behind when they start school and struggle with learning to read.  That’s why it’s so important for adults to chat with children to help them develop the essential language skills needed to be ready to read when they enter the classroom. ”

For more information on Read On. Get On. and to access the free Ladybird story starters online, visit

We are one of the partners leading the Read On. Get On. campaign, which aims to get all 11-year-olds reading well by 2025.

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The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.
Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.