All librarians know the power of a story; that’s what our job enforces.
We all know that reading for pleasure/enjoyment is the secret to attainment for any child, no matter what social background they come from. Statics have proven this point, as well as pointing to increased attainment for those who have been read to.
Is enough emphasis placed on ‘The power of story?’ In my experience every child loves being read to, no matter what age. By reading aloud to children every child is on an equal footing; Aidan Chambers wrote “we are more equal as listeners than we can ever be as readers”. Reading aloud means those books which may have been considered too difficult come to life and give them something to strive for. Small snippets of text can whet the appetite for more; meaning some children will be introduced to genres they haven’t read before.
Whenever I read aloud to the older children (10-11 years old) I wrap the book in brown plain paper then read them an extract. We then discuss what they think the story is about. After discussion I read a little more or maybe the blurb; the excitement builds and the children are usually begging for more.
Allowing children to ‘get lost’ in a story is one of the most important things we can do because it allows them to develop their vocabulary, listen to the structure of stories and become readers themselves.
The link below is a blog on the National Literacy Trust site speaking of the importance of story in their new Literacy for Life programme; http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/blog/6722_the_power_of_story