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.
"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
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.
The Reading Together® programme creates a literacy partnership between school and home. The programme is aimed directly at parents/whānau and building an educationally powerful connection between them and the school. It is effective for all parents/whānau and for children of all reading abilities. It underscores the major role parents/whānau can play in making reading an enjoyable activity in the home for the whole family. While it is effective for students requiring an acceleration of reading levels and associated focus on reading to learn, the programme works best when delivered to groups of parents/whānau whose children are at different reading levels. It is best NOT to target the parents/whānau of struggling readers as many parents find this kind of labelling off-putting.
Reading Together® needs to be considered alongside other literacy support available and complements, rather than replaces, effective classroom teaching.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
One of the NZ Ministry of Education's operating intentions is 'Lifting educational achievement through Better Public Services'. The following excerpt is from 'Better Public Service Result Area 5', specifically Promote strong and powerful connections between education providers, parents, families, whānau, iwi and communities [p. 30]:
We will work with whānau in target communities to support their children's and young people's learning and achievement in early childhood education, literacy and numeracy, and NCEA.
The focus will be on evidence-based initiatives that promote active parental support for children's learning and wellbeing. This will include programmes that create educationally powerful connections between schools and parents, families, whānau, iwi and communities.
We will ... promote Ministry-led programmes such as Reading Together to whānau.
Reading Together is a joint home-school intervention targeted at raising literacy. It was developed by the authors of the Family and Community Influences Best Evidence Synthesis (Biddulph et al., 2003) and has proved effective in raising children's reading achievement while supporting greater collaboration between home and school.
Source: Partnership actions: What to use.