NZ Ministry of Education Citations relating to Reading Together®

Education Counts

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi: Evidence of impact
Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi
engages parents, whānau and aiga in learning strategies to support their children's reading enjoyment, achievement, confidence and wellbeing. The programme has a strong evidence base and is high impact.

This updated feature includes:
  • New resources
  • A link to find out more about the funding and support that is available to offer Early Reading Together® and Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi.
A new evaluation summary report and set of A3s bring the evidence together and also outline:
  • why Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi is a powerful educational opportunity
  • the programme outcomes for parents, whānau, aiga and children, and schools and communities
  • what works and doesn’t work for effective implementation
  • how schools can be supported to implement the programme.

Source: The What's New section of the Ministry of Education Best Evidence Synthesis Programme, announcing the availability of new evidence resources and links for support for Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi.

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi
Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi
is a four workshop intervention that helps parents and caregivers to support their children's reading at home. The videos in this new feature explain how Reading Together® can build trust, support children by supporting parents, increase access to reading, build productive partnerships, and counter harm. They include recent interviews with school leaders and whānau from St Joseph's School in Otahuhu and Manurewa Central School and highlight critical success factors for those planning and supporting the effective implementation of Reading Together®.

Source: The What's New section of the Ministry of Education Best Evidence Synthesis Programme, announcing the availability of Reading Together® Implementation Exemplars in the form of videos available here.

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi at Ngāti Moko Marae: A School-Iwi Partnership implementation exemplar
Expert developer of Reading Together® Jeanne Biddulph, highlighted the need for school-whānau partnership approaches to build trust for ongoing success. When well-implemented Reading Together® accelerates reading achievement, supports children's wellbeing and has enduring effects for positive and culturally responsive education.

Source: Ministry of Education best evidence in action exemplar available here.

Evaluation of Taonga mō ngā Tamariki
Taonga mō ngā Tamariki is an intergenerational intervention designed to foster positive whānau-child interactions, provide access to books in home and heart languages and grow children's enjoyment of reading.
Taonga mō ngā Tamariki is delivered by the not-for-profit Storytime Foundation to whānau in the care or under the management of Ara Poutama Aotearoa | Department of Corrections. It is based on the Early Reading Together® and Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi programmes.
When coupled with a programme of child-centric visiting the intervention deepens whānau connections in a positive way, decreases stress for children, and creates the conditions to improve educational and wellbeing outcomes. The international evidence is that such interventions reduce recidivism.
Corrections staff and programme participants interviewed said Taonga mō ngā Tamariki is one of the most successful programmes the Department of Corrections offers. It is making a difference.

Source: Ministry of Education Best Evidence Synthesis Programme, making available the Evaluation of Taonga mō ngā Tamariki.

"We need an intergenerational learning environment. Who is the learner? Not just the child - support parents and families to support their child." Pacific adult, Lower Hutt fono, 2018

Communities have shared positive experiences with programmes that bring families and communities into education, like Talanoa Ako and Reading Together®. ...  Evaluations of Reading Together® demonstrate significant positive impacts for children and families, for children’s reading progress and for relationships between Pacific parents and teachers.

"Reading Together® has been fully embraced and extremely valued in the community. This programme needs to be built on - can the ministries next PEP [Pasifika Education Plan] focus on the home/family." Samoa heritage parent, Christchurch fono, 2019

Source: Action Plan for Pacific Education 2020-2030: Supporting research and community voice

The Reading Together® programme helps parents and caregivers to more effectively support their children's reading at home. This matters because parent 'help' with children's reading if too pressured has long-term negative effects (Robinson, Hohepa and Lloyd, 2009).

In 2017, a parent provided this feedback: "The first thing that I learned from that session; reading should be fun. If I didn't come to that workshop I would be forcing every single word of the book to her and I don't think she will enjoy reading."

Reading Together® has been shown to have a significant and sustained positive impact on children's reading achievement and to support children's affective and social development. The programme is designed to build high trust connections between parents and teachers in ways that develop more culturally responsive teaching.

Source: Best practice for teaching Pacific learners

Literacy & Communication and Maths Action Plans

Focus Area 3: Educationally powerful connections support and enhance learning

3.1 Support early learning services and schools to work with whānau, iwi, and communities in culturally sustaining ways, to enrich the literacy & communication learning of ākonga.

3.1.1  Collaborate with whānau to design and provide access to resources and guidance which help them to be active partners in the literacy & communication progress of their ākonga.

3.1.2  Investigate formal and informal literacy & communication development opportunities for whānau.

3.1.3  Support community and iwi-led initiatives which help whānau confidently engage in the literacy & communication learning of their ākonga.

» Work should build on successful models and initiatives already in the system (e.g. Reading Together®, Talanoa Ako, and PELP resources) and include learnings from COVID-19.

» Needs of English language learners and their whānau will be specifically considered.

Source: Ministry of Education Literacy & Communication and Maths Action Plans – August 2022 (Page 18 of PDF).

Te Mahau

Reading with your child
Parents and their child reading together helps raise children's reading achievement.

Reading together has been shown to raise children’s reading achievement in a significant and sustained way, and to improve relationships between children and parents, and between parents and teachers.

The video Modelling the change from the Reading Together® programme was developed, implemented and supported by Jeanne Biddulph and:
  • reinforces the importance of reading for educational success, relationships and wellbeing, and how it can create positive feelings when there is an absence of stress.
  • recognises that parents and caregivers can feel anxious or worried about their child’s reading abilities, and highlights that these worries can get in the way of the enjoyment of reading together.
  • shows strategies to support reading, such as adults not saying the difficult word for the learner but allowing them to think and work it out for themselves.
  • highlights the importance of not comparing one learner with another, and that all progress at different rates and reassures that this is OK.
Find out more about the Reading Together® programme here.

Source: Te Mahau Reading with your child webpage.

Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders

Applications open for Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi

Schools can apply for funding to deliver Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi.

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi is a strengths-based, literacy intervention that supports parents and whānau to learn strategies to positively support their children’s reading at home. It runs over four workshops (1 hour 15 minutes in length) and builds high-trust relationships between staff, parents, whānau, librarians and communities.

The programme has been found to increase children’s meaningful access to books, support whānau bonding and raise reading achievement.

How to apply

  • Request an application form by emailing Reading.Together@education.govt.nz.
  • Applications are open until 31 March 2023. Schools can select which term they plan to deliver the programme (up to Term 2, 2023 – week 1 to 5 only).

To find out more about Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi visit:

Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi – Education Counts

Reading Together® programme – The Biddulph Group

Source: School Leaders Bulletin | He Pitopito Kōrero | Update – 23 August 2022.

Further support for Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi schools
Until 30 June 2019, schools that have previously offered Reading Together® are eligible for a grant of $1,250 + GST to support a further workshop series in 2019.  An initial payment of $750 + GST will be made to successful applicants. A further payment of $500 + GST will be made on receipt of the required feedback following the programme.
An application form for further funding for eligible schools, details of the required feedback, plus feedback templates are available on the TKI website.
Reading Together® Te Pānui Ngātahi is also now delivered by community-based groups such as iwi and through Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. Early learning services and community groups can also be funded to support the provision of Early Reading Together® programmes.
Please contact your regional office Reading Together® advisor for further information.

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 108, 6 May 2019 [p.10].

Reading Together® regional workshops
On 9 and 11 May, two champion schools hosted the first Auckland regional Reading Together® workshops for 2017. Sixty three staff attended from over 20 Auckland schools. Facilitator John Good imparted words of wisdom, welcoming new schools to the programme and encouraging participating schools to continue their excellent work towards whānau engagement and raising literacy, which are key features that underpin this project.
Ferguson Intermediate Principal Sisi Key shared her enthusiasm for the Reading Together® programme. She discussed the many benefits that had accrued to students at her former school, Otahuhu Primary and is excited to integrate these same strategies in her new school.
St Paul's Primary has experienced a considerable increase in reading levels and whānau engagement since they began the Reading Together® programme. The school's library boasts 6000 books with parents also having access to books alongside their children. Principal Mary Zellman is passionate about the programme and can attest to its continued success.

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 71, 22 May 2017 (Auckland) [p.16].

Further support for Reading Together®
Until 30 June 2017, schools that have previously offered Reading Together® are eligible for a grant of $624+GST to support a further workshop series in 2017.
Visit The New Zealand Curriculum Online website for an application form
It is now possible for this programme to be delivered by community-based groups such as iwi and through Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako. Approval has also been given to extend funding support to Early Reading Together® providers in the same way as Reading Together® can be supported.
Please contact your regional office Reading Together® advisor for further information.

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 70, 8 May 2017 [p.12].

Reading Together
The last six months has seen a significant boost in the use of Reading Together in local schools. ... Reading Together sees parents as a highly valuable resource for students' success. ... here are some comments from parents at the end of a recent Reading Together series. They are typical of parent feedback across many schools.
"Has a lot more interest in reading. Enjoys reading more, chooses to read because he wants to."
"Knowing what to do when [child] is having problems with a word and also how to pick out appropriate books. Having patience, reading isn't so much of an issue now. Learning to choose the right type of books. Learned son's signs, not getting angry."
"Nothing but respect for [staff member] also respect for all the other parents who took the time to show their children they cared about their education. Massive! Excellent workshop, great fun to do. Really enjoyed the programme. Lots of useful information. Feel lucky to be a part of it."

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 31, 22 June 2015 (Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatu Regional News).

A bouquet...
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson hosted their first session of Pānui Tahi – Reading Together, hosting 13 Dad's and 1 Koro to the first of four workshops. It is great to see schools and kura taking the programme and tailoring it to their own community and what will work for them. It's also a fantastic example of role modelling for our young boys especially as they will get to read with their Dad's! Ka mau te wehi.

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 25, 16 March 2015 [p.12].

Schools are experiencing great success with running the Reading Together workshops within their communities and there has been a positive effect on student achievement. It is most rewarding to hear such glowing reports from families and students who have experienced this outstanding programme.

Source: Ministry Bulletin for School Leaders - Issue 20, 24 Nov 2014 (Waikato Regional News) [p.18].

Talanoa Ako: Pasifika Education Talk

Pasifika parents are learning strategies that build their confidence to become more involved with their children's reading and learning through the successful Reading Together® programme.
"Before the programme, I just left the kids to do their homework, but now I spend time working with each of my kids and I've seen big improvements in their reading and attitudes," says Vai. "It's [the programme] been very empowering for me because I used to be comfortable only speaking and reading in Samoan, but now I'm more confident in reading in English."
Vai encourages other parents to take part in the programme and speaks highly of the benefits for both the parent and the child.

Source: Reading Together® for reading success (pp.18-19) in the June/July 2015 issue of Talanoa Ako.

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