The charter school has decided to vigorously promote student reading within educational centers and outside, encouraging families to read at home. And not only to improve academic skills in the Catalan or Spanish language and reading comprehension, but also to create spaces of serenity at home, reinforcing the family ties that are created when sharing a book. Furthermore, if you read 15 minutes every day throughout primary school, you gain the equivalent of a school year in academic performance.
Reading is key to school success. For this reason, the family associations of Christian schools and the Federation of Christian Schools, which have almost 200,000 students in their centers, have launched the campaign
"Education is not just a question for the schools", explained yesterday Mar Pla, president of the Christian Confederation of Associations of Parents and Students of Catalonia (CCAPAC), "it is also for the families".
Given the results of the basic skills of 6th grade of primary school, low in language, and those of reading comprehension, which place Catalan students at the bottom of the rest of the autonomous communities and surrounding countries, the charter schools will reinforce reading this year. And this despite the fact that their results in basic skills were better than those of the public sector.
Only 50% of students' homes read at least once a week. According to the Consell Superior d'Avaluació, there is a 14 percentage point difference in Catalan proficiency between students who read the least ("sometimes a year") and those who read the most ("more than four days a week"). About 11 in Spanish, 13 in English, 12 in mathematics and another 12 in natural environment. These are the results of the basic skills report for the 2021-2022 academic year since those from the past have not yet been published.
The Government has launched a reading plan that, among other measures, promotes a pilot plan that will provide school libraries to 50 centers for two years and will support 200 more centers.
“Any initiative is welcome,” thanks María Gajas, secondary school coordinator at the Vedrunes dels Ángels center and promoter of the program in Christian schools and ampas. “But it seems unambitious to us. A pilot plan at this point? We already know what works. What schools need is an emergency plan,” she says.
The ampas, coordinated with the teachers, will propose a 15-minute reading aloud daily, with recommendations on how, when, with what books, and suggestions not to give up on the nightly story when they already know how to read. “It should be a moment of pleasure,” says Professor Gajas. From the moment of choosing the book, the reading itself and the subsequent conversation.
To do this, ask that the neighborhood libraries have books in different languages so that the children of immigrants can read in their own language. He explains that the Sant Pau-Santa Creu library has a collection of stories in Urdu, Tagalog and Punjabi. “If we want them to associate reading with a moment of pleasure, it is better for them to read in their native language,” recommends Gajas. But, for this, there must be readings in the library. “Parents, when accompanying their children, may also pick up a book or sign up for an activity.”
The benefits are many, according to Pla. In addition to those mentioned, reading aloud facilitates oral expression, the understanding of complex texts, improves listening and attention, “in a world of distractions”, enhances critical thinking and creative skills and creates great readers.
“They are quality, relaxed moments, in which conversations are generated,” he says. “If the children are tired, they don't need to read, the important thing is to share that time.” He points out that this family activity can be extended beyond childhood with newspapers, magazines or books of genres other than stories.
Teachers will help the campaign by generating resources (recommendations, workshops, activities, blogs, book suggestions by age, visits to libraries).