Read on, MP urges parents at Commons book charity event

Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker
Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker

Craig Whittaker MP is encouraging parents and carers of young children in Calder Valley to read regularly to their children.

Mr Whittaker said: “Reading to children is fun and it gives them a better start in life by helping their language, wellbeing, confidence and concentration.

“All the evidence is that the more they are read to, the better they do.”

Mr Whittaker was speaking at a Booktrust event, “Reading together changes lives”, held at the House of Commons on July 15.

The national charity Booktrust gifts books to every baby and young child in the UK and seeks to motivate parents to read to their children.

Fiona Protheroe, a mother of two who came with her eight-year-old son James, told the meeting: “The earlier you start reading, the more it becomes part of your family life.

“ Getting a Booktrust pack when your child is a baby makes books special.

“James’s dad found the tips really useful at getting over his awkwardness about reading to the kids!”

Viv Bird, who is chief executive of Booktrust, said, “We really appreciate Craig’s support.

“ Whatever their background, we know that children who are read to regularly at age five do better in vocabulary, spelling and maths at age 16.

“Even if you’re not a great reader, you can still help your child by telling the stories using the pictures and talking to them about what you see.”

Booktrust gifts over five million books a year to two million children up to the age of five, along with tips, guidance and fun activities for the whole family.

It also gives hundreds of thousands of books to older students.

Booktrust partners with children’s centres, health visitors, schools, libraries, local authorities and others to distribute books and hold family reading sessions and events.