Thursday, July 26, 2012

Survey Reveals 1 in 5 of Irish Parents Don’t Read to Their Children

This week sees the launch of the Eason ‘Get Into Reading’ campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of reading, especially with children, and is supported by leading Irish authors Cathy Kelly and Ireland's new children's laureate Niamh Sharkey. To kick off the campaign a survey

As part of the campaign, Eason commissioned Amárach Research to carry out a survey, which revealed some very interesting results. The stand out insights were...

  • While four-in-five (84%) Irish people were encouraged to read by their parents and almost seven-in-ten members of the Irish public (69%) were read to as a child, almost one in five (18%) of Irish parents never read to their children.
  • Close to two in four parents ‘pass the buck’ to their partner when it comes to reading to their children – men (42%) are more guilty of this than woman (34%)
  • More than half of Irish parents of kids under 8 have felt badly about not having time to read with their child.
  • One third cites time pressures as the main reason for not reading more to their child.
  • A quarter of Irish people read for five or more hours each week and those who were read to as a child are 30% more likely to spend this amount of time reading than those who were not read to as child – 24% of those who were not read to as a child read for an hour less each week.
  • Almost all (93%) of respondents concur that reading increases one’s vocabulary and close to half (46%) have listed reading as an extracurricular activity on their CV.
  • 79% of those surveyed would like more time in the day to read more.

Dr. John Sharry, child psychotherapist, commented on the research findings, “Establishing a daily reading time with your children is the single most important ritual, benefiting not only their learning and communication but also creating an important connection between you. The research describes the barriers to reading with children with ‘having no time’ being the most cited reason by parents. This highlights the importance of building a daily routine of reading with the ‘bedtime story’ being one of the most important of these. Bedtime reading not only provides all the educational benefits of reading, but also is an important ritual in gaining a good night’s sleep and usually a special moment of connection between parent and child.”

Ireland's leading female author and mother to nine year old twin boys, Cathy Kelly offered her thoughts, “‘It’s hard to find time to read to your children. At night time, I’m often shattered, want to throw myself into bed and am not in the mood for another chapter of the wonderful Harry Potter. But I do it and I can see the enormous difference reading has meant to my sons in terms of learning.

She continued, “Both of them now love books. When they were little, the bedtime story was part of the lovely bedtime routine. Now, it’s a fabulous time to read – and talk. Children tell you what they really feel at night. Reading gives you a lifetime of joy and even ten minutes each night can make such a difference to your children.”

According to David Field, Head of Marketing and Retail Development at Eason, “We at Eason are hugely committed to supporting literacy in Ireland, particularly among children. ‘Get Into Reading’ really draws on the importance of reading from a young age and the role of the parent in nurturing their child’s love of the written word. We recognise the passion many people share for reading and we simply want to encourage kids and adults alike to read more, one book at a time.”

In order to facilitate the campaign, Eason are calling on the Irish public to pledge their support for reading by visiting the Eason Facebook page or website. All who pledge will be entered into a weekly draw to win a €500 Eason voucher.

‘Get Into Reading’ is part of Eason & Son’s commitment to literacy and will include weekly in-store reading events for children and parents throughout the year. Each Saturday morning, participating Eason stores will host ‘Get Into Reading’ Story Time events where a dedicated member of staff will read a preselected book to the children. ‘Get Into Reading’ Story Time kicks off this Saturday 28th July.

The Eason ‘Get Into Reading’ campaign is a year-round initiative and takes place in line with other initiatives supporting literacy such as the Eason Spelling Bee which was met with huge success this year receiving entries from close to 300 schools from all 32 counties of Ireland. Later this year, Eason will also announce details of a partnership with Barnardos Children’s Charity in support of child literacy.

No comments: