Lockdown hobby that has proved powerful tool for families, and it’s free

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Wi th the stresses of lockdown, it’s an ideal time for families to rediscover the joy of reading.

For most families, lockdown has meant extra hours at home and the chance to discover new things to do together.

But factor in home schooling and keeping children entertained every day, and there’s been added pressure too.

A survey conducted by Very showed that, while there have been plusses in bringing everyone together, filling so much time has been a big task.

Almost half of mums and dads with children aged 4-11 who took part in the Very Big Life Survey described the past few months as “stressful”, while 70 per cent admitted it had also given them the chance to do more as a family.

With so much uncertainty going on around them, families have rediscovered the joy of escaping into the pages of a good book.

One in three parents said they’ve started reading more with their kids, and 22 per cent of those with teens managed to share reading time.

A fabulous story lets us take a break from the real world and disappear into our imaginations. Whether it’s board books read aloud to little ones, teen novels or the latest fiction bestseller, books offer something for all ages.

Very believes in the power of reading and, in partnership with national reading charity Coram Beanstalk it wants to encourage as many children, parents and carers as possible to read at home.

Coram Beanstalk provides fun one-to-one reading sessions in primary schools and early years settings (3-13), and delivers training for parents and school communities too, taking the pressure off reading and making it an enjoyable experience for all.

Very has created a series of 14 Storytime sessions available on its YouTube channel. It features volunteer reading helpers and famous faces sharing wonderful children’s stories so all children can enjoy listening and reading along.

And, as families start to think ahead to September, Coram Beanstalk’s sister charity Coram Life Education has launched a free teaching toolkit to support children’s health and wellbeing for when they return to school.

It’s a challenging time, especially for those kids who have had their learning most affected by the lockdown break.

Very has teamed up with Coram Beanstalk to launch #123Story, a social fundraising campaign to help raise vital funds to ensure no child falls further behind after returning to school.

Launched by Coram Beanstalk ambassador, TV presenter Dan Snow on Very and Coram Beanstalk’s Instagram pages, everyone can join in, share a favourite book, nominate friends to do the same and donate to get reading support where it’s needed most.

To get involved, visit: justgiving.com/campaign/123Story

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