Middlesbrough Reads is an integral part of the School Readiness Team’s Literacy Pathway that is implemented across the town from antenatal classes, new birth visits, health checks through to the BookStart gifting in schools. At its core are the consistent, age/stage-appropriate messages that are to be given to parents, reinforcing the adoption of early literacy behaviours.
Sing with me
Middlesbrough Reads is continuing to work with the School Readiness team to promote the benefits of singing to newborn babies with their ‘Sing with me’ nursery rhyme booklet, which is part of the Literacy Pathway in Middlesbrough. The ‘Sing with me’ booklets remind parents of the importance of sharing songs and rhymes with babies, and reacquaint them with some of the most familiar nursery rhymes. The booklet is given to all new Middlesbrough parents by their health visitor at the six to eight week health check. Research shows that singing songs and rhymes at home has a positive impact on a child’s literacy skills as they grow older. The rhythm and repetition in nursery rhymes helps young children develop the language skills they need to learn to talk. Singing is also recognised as a great way for new parents to bond with their babies. In April 2018, the Education secretary reiterated the importance of singing nursery rhymes from an early age, confirming the importance being placed on this activity within Middlesbrough.