National Literacy Trust launches new online zone for parents to engage children at home as schools in Swindon close

By Ben Fitzgerald - 20 March 2020


In response to school closures in Swindon and across the UK, the National Literacy Trust has today launched a free comprehensive online zone for parents seeking ideas and guidance for activities that will engage their children at home, whilst also benefiting their reading, writing and language development.

The charity, which runs Swindon Stories in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and WHSmith to make to equip local children and young people with the literacy skills they need to succeed in life, has created Family Zone [] – a one-stop shop for families which brings together some of the UK’s most exciting literacy resources and activities in one place.

Drawing on the charity’s expertise and incredible partnerships with teachers, authors, publishers, educational organisations and corporates, local families can access engaging reading and writing activities, book lists, videos, audiobooks, competitions and reading challenges, curated for early years to early teens. 

New activities and resources will be added regularly, as the charity develops innovative partnerships and features over the coming weeks and months.

Resources and activities for families to enjoy together at home include:

·         Simple and fun Small Talk videos to help parents chat, play and read with their young child

·         Top tips for enjoying audiobooks as a family

·         A guide to building a reading den at home 

·         A Reading Miles Global Challenge to encourage children to read around the world

·         Activity sheets based on popular children’s books, including Where’s Wally?, as well as playful learning activities featuring much-lovedCBeebies characters

·         Exciting author videos, including live stories with author Steve Antony, draw-along sessions with illustrator Rob Biddulph and poetry workshops with Sarah Crossan

Anish Harrison, Swindon Stories Manager, said: “We want to support Swindon parents as much as possible during this unique time, providing them with access to a wide range of exciting activities to engage their children at home, whilst continuing to provide the literacy support we know Swindon need. We hope our Family Zone has something for everyone – from tips on building your very own reading den, to live story times with famous children’s authors!”

Over the coming weeks and months, the charity will be developing and publishing new and innovative content on Family Zone that will keep families engaged and motivated to learn and share stories together.


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