The Reading Rhondda project was born out of research done by a member of the ‘People & Work’ team post pandemic, who after speaking with various partners within the Rhondda community and looking at national statistics noted the decline in reading and literacy skills in primary aged children. The Reading Rhondda project aims to bridge this gap by holding sessions with caregivers and the children with the emphasis on encouraging reading and literacy at home, as well as providing reading materials for the children involved to access on a regular basis.

Our school sessions centre around a particular theme weekly, whether that is a book or an occasion such as certain celebrations. As a group we read the story and have a discussion around it, often the older children or caregivers read the story so that the children have a broad experience of different reading styles, there is however no pressure to read out loud for the children or adults.

We then have a craft, cooking activity or fun games that link in with the topic, all things that can be easily recreated within the home environment to encourage the children to read more.

We also hold preschool sessions, where the little ones get to experience messy play, story time, song time and make a craft or cooking activity to take home.

All our families have access to books that we have soured and been kindly gifted from local charity shops, donations from families in the area and businesses. We want to inspire the love of reading within the Rhondda and help to find practical ways in which reading and literacy can become part of children’s everyday lives at home.

We work alongside a youth club to promote life skills such as cooking where reading skills can be practiced through menus and instructions.

For more information or to find out if we are currently working in your child’s school or if you would like a copy of the planning to facilitate the programme at your setting, please contact Natasha Owens: