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Parents Bribe Kids To Read As 89% Of Teachers Worry Reading Is Becoming Less Attractive

Posted at 7:16AM Wednesday 03 Nov 2010

Kids' favourite TV characters come to the reading rescue, to improve children's literacy

Nine out of ten teachers (89%) believe that reading is becoming less appealing to kids in a digital age according to research released by education company Pearson today. Children are so bored by current reading programmes that more than two in five parents (42%) even use TV, computer games or sweets to encourage them to read.

Nearly four out of five children (79%) said exciting characters would make them read more. Well known children's characters are now going to be used to reignite their interest in books. Kids' favourites Wallace & Gromit will be joined by other popular children's characters including Doctor Who, Angelina Ballerina, Shaun the Sheep and Ben 10 to help children with their literacy.

The popular children's characters are part of Bug Club, a new school reading programme that offers a modern and lively approach to teaching synthetic phonics and literacy being launched today. The programme uses characters to engage and excite children about reading and is the first of its kind to combine real books with an interactive online reading world at

The research also revealed:

· 86% of teachers believe children would much rather log onto a computer than read and 66% of kids said they would read more if books could be seen on a computer

· 80% of primary school teachers agreed that children in their class would read more at home if they were able to use their computer

· 75% agreed that a more seamless link between the classroom and home would improve children's reading

Bug Club addresses these problems by combining exciting characters and children's love of using technology and creating a programme that can be used both in the classroom and at home.

Tanya Byron, psychologist and child care expert has reviewed the programme. She said:

"I think Bug Club is a genius concept. What Bug Club does is it gives children the opportunity to have a really bespoke reading experience and that's what I like about it. Here you have the opportunity for a teacher in a large classroom with children with very mixed needs, to be able to allocate books on an individual or group basis. They are meeting the needs of the child but in a way that the child can engage with."

Accessible online from anywhere, children can read, take comprehension quizzes and earn rewards, all without having to take their book out of the classroom. Teachers can also assess pupils' progress and create personalised learning plans through the programme. This is especially useful as 80% of teachers questioned in the survey said they struggled to allocate sufficient time to hear each child read in class.

Pauline Woods, Headteacher of Brookfield Infant School, which piloted Bug Club said:

"It's fantastic to see the children automatically recognise some of the characters and this instantly switches them on to reading and makes them want to read more - this is one of the things most schools struggle with."

For more information on Bug Club please visit:

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