Reading for pleasure is extremely important to the potential future success and happiness of children. The impact of reading for pleasure is so influential that research shows it is more important to engage in reading than to be from a privileged background. For children in care, this is an incredibly powerful message.
Five foster carers were invited to become Story Champions volunteers, to learn more about reading for pleasure, develop their skills and provide an insight into the realities of instilling a love of books in the children in their care. We then created a new ‘Reading for Pleasure for Children in Care’ training package based on what we had learnt together so we now have tailored training that is genuinely relevant, robust and meets the needs of foster carers.
In August 2021 we held our first face to face training session. Nine carers attended and it was so lovely to see each other in person after the long months of restrictions due to the pandemic. At the same time as the foster carers attended the training, their children were treated to a magic show followed by workshops led by ‘The Great Adamos’. The children had a fabulous time and left with the balloon shapes that they had created, plus a goody bag (the adults received one too!).
Once we have collated the feedback, we will be making any necessary amendments to the training, then meeting with Learning and Development to begin the process of transforming our physical training into an e-learning module for those that prefer to learn from their homes. We also plan to attend Foster Carer Support Groups in the near future to deliver the training in a more informal way.
For more information please contact Steph on 0116 305 8760, or email Stephanie.Strange@leics.gov.uk