Stories make Readers (StoRe) –project from the perspective of the StoRe-students

Submitted by: Juli-Anna Aerila
Abstract: Stories make Readers (StoRe) –project is a project concentrating on supporting educators in creating positive reading climate with the children in their groups. The piloting project of StoRe was implemented in a network of 10 class teachers in Finland. The importance of literature and literacy skills in the development of a child is undeniable whether we think of academic skills, emotional development or coping with the life in general. Children's readership is based on the models of adults and peers, and the attachment to positive images of readers. Educators are important role models in reading, as well as parents. However, the parental support during emergent literacy varies a lot. For example, 28 % of Finnish parents reports not reading regularly to their children (PIRLS 2016). Supporting parents in their readership is important, since the meaning of parental support is highlighted in international literacy assessments: there is a strong relationship between reading attitudes at home and reading commitment of a child. In this study, we present the perceptions of the importance of adult (teachers and family members) support for the StoRe-students. The data consist of online questionnaires (both open-ended and Likert-scale) answered by 274 students in Finnish primary schools (grades 1 – 6). The data is analyzed with qualitative content analyze and supported by quantitative information. The amount of data enables many perspectives to the adult support in reading. The preliminary results indicate, that students value and pay attention to the readership of adults. The means of pondering the readership are very concrete: talking about free time reading experiences, having books on the table, possessing knowledge about children’s books and reading aloud. The readership is more visible and strong to the younger readers and get vaguer since the students grow older. The most common role models to reading are the teachers, parents and the grandparents, but it seems that the older siblings in the family could be an important asset. Based on this study, more effort should be made to show the positive readership in classrooms and at home.

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