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Literacy programme to benefit more communities

Literacy programme to benefit more communities

More communities will benefit from an acclaimed school literacy programme, Education Minister Hekia Parata and Associate Education Minister Dr Pita Sharples say.

An extra $2.4 million of operating funding over the next four years will go to the Reading Together Programme so it can expand to include more than 140 decile 4 and 5 schools.

Reading Together is a research-based programme that helps parents to support their children's reading at home.

“The extra money will cover the extension of the programme into all decile 4 schools and up to half of all decile 5 English medium schools,” Ms Parata says. “The programme will be available to students in Years 1 to 8 and their families.

“Research has identified Reading Together as a low-cost, high-impact programme with strong evidence of effectiveness. For example, children have gained a full year in their reading level within 12 weeks of starting the programme.”

Dr Sharples says expanding Reading Together beyond the decile 1 to 3 schools funded since 2011 gives more families the opportunity to share the programme’s benefits.

“It’s not just the child who benefits from this programme. Their brothers and sisters do, as well as their parents, whānau and school community. One of the real strengths of this programme is the focus on whānau. Now more communities can be a part of that.”

The expansion of Reading Together is one part of an education package agreed between the Māori Party and the National-led Government.

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