Research carried out by FK&Y for Egmont Publishing, in collaboration with Foyles Bookshops in the UK, has received much praise, including from children’s author Michael Morpurgo.
Egmont has published a summary of findings from the research, which was an intervention with 15 families with children aged 7-9, all of whom, like many families, were reluctant readers in some way, either because children were disengaged, or because parents were time poor. Many parents were no longer reading with their children.
Using an ethnographic methodology, families were observed over the summer holidays, with FK&Y researchers visiting and filming in-home. During this time families were given a weekly £10 voucher to spend at their local Foyles Bookshop in Bristol, Birmingham and Stratford East. By the end of the holidays, children and parents had found a real connection with reading, and with visiting the book shop where staff were friendly and welcoming. Following the summer holiday intervention, families were interviewed again in October (half term) and early January this year.
The programme has had a profound impact on relationships between parent and child; spending quality time reading together created a deep emotional connection. Despite having felt some initial trepidation, the families loved taking part, visiting the bookshop, and finding a new enjoyment in the process of reading. Children’s confidence in reading grew and parents too were reminded of the joy of reading.
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo commented
‘Print Matters More is such a vitally important initiative’.
Joy Court, Chair of CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals added
‘Egmont’s Print Matters More research is really important. In depth research with real families with children struggling to read. The impact of the intervention not just on the reading but on the quality of family relationships is moving and inspirational. There is much that policy makers concerned with reading and literacy should learn from this.’