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Home reading poised for a new chapter

Thousands more Scottish children are to benefit this summer from Scottish Executive funding for home reading projects designed to foster a love of books.

The latest tranche of pound;300,000 for the Read Together grants is to be shared among 370 schools, nurseries and community groups.

This year's projects range from lending parents "talking books" for their nursery-age children to setting up a dads' drop-in club to get fathers more involved in their child's reading.

Since it was launched in 2002, the grants scheme has invested nearly pound;2 million in more than 1,700 home reading projects. It is administered by Learning and Teaching Scotland in partnership with Read Together! and the executive.

Robert Brown, Deputy Education Minister, said: "We want all Scottish children to be confident readers. Sharing storytime at home is great fun for parents and carers, and it can give their child a big head start in the classroom.

"These grants are just one of the things we are doing to raise literacy levels, and we know we are making progress. Most pupils are already reading at or above the levels expected for their age, and this year's home reading grants will help us keep up that momentum."

Jacqueline Wilson, the Children's Laureate, said: "Books delight, entertain and inform - they are the most magical way of enriching our lives. I'd like every parent and carer to read aloud to their children and get them hooked on books for life."

Examples of projects that will benefit from the funding include:

* Hamiltonhill family learning centre in Possilpark in Glasgow which will buy more story sacks containing a book, soft toy and game for under-threes to explore with parents at home.

* Fishcross primary in Clackmannanshire will set up a dads' drop-in club, which strives to increase fathers' involvement in their child's education.

Each dad will be encouraged to become a Fred - Fathers Read Every Day.

* Polbeth nursery school in West Lothian will give parents access to talking books. Parents will take turns borrowing a laptop with talking books software to use at home with their child.

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