PARENTS GRADUATED FROM the Story Time programme this week, an initiative that sees parents, educators and libraries working together to improve children’s communication, social and language skills by having their parents read them stories.
“We wanted to develop children’s oral language more,” says Dr Joan Kiely, Head of Early Childhood Education, Marino Institute of Education.
“And get parents and children working together at home in a very fun and playful way.”
Starting seven years ago, Story Time is a collaborative project between Northside Partnership, Marino Institute and Dublin City Libraries that sees parents sign up to 5 weeks of reading their kids stories for five to ten minues per night, five nights per week.
The programme helps parents elicit more language from their children by asking open-ended questions that helps refine their thinking and activates their imagination – elements that help improve their oral language skills.
This strategy and others like it can help build up their vocabulary and confidence.
One parent says it helped her learn more about her child as she learned that her son liked to act out the stories he would listen to.
“There’s a lot to be learned by going back-to-basics,” she says. “It lets their imagination take over.”