Teaching kids through texting

By Cassie Hart, Editor - Kids in Perth 03 Aug 2021

Mum-daughter-studying

Do you want to help your kindergarten aged child improve their literary skills, but are not sure how?  A new research project from Edith Cowan University is hoping to support parents to read effectively with their children, and they’re doing so via text.

“Smartphones are a central part of our lives in 2021 and this project is hoping to capitalise on the prevalence of these devices to help develop young children’s reading and writing skills,”

Professor Caroline Barratt-Pugh from ECU’s School of Education.

The free Kindytxt program aims to build parents’ confidence and skills as their child’s first literacy teacher.  Researchers will send text messages to parents and carers of kindergarten aged children who have signed up to the program.  The messages suggest simple activities they can do at home to help their child’s literacy skills.

Mum-high-5-teaching

“We know that parents from a diverse range of communities are engaged in many different literacy practices with their children. Kindytxt aims to help parents build on those practices particularly through shared book activities, songs and nursery rhymes. These activities help build children’s vocabulary, concepts about print and love of books.”

Parents and carers will receive three text messages each week over the 30-week program.  An example text is: Read a children’s book out loud to your child. Point to the pictures and name the things in the picture. Ask: ‘What can you see in the picture?’

The text messages will also encourage parents to visit their local library and attend free literacy activities as part of the Better Beginnings family literacy program run throughout the State by local libraries.

“We know that parents in partnership with kindy teachers and librarians can have a huge effect on children’s literacy development,” Professor Barratt-Pugh said.

The research team hopes that by leveraging technology that’s already in everyone’s pockets, they can make a big difference to young children’s literacy.

Email kindytxt@ecu.edu.au to obtain a digital copy of Kindytxt flyer that includes easy instructions to register.  Registration is open until the 31st of August.

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