Fostering network promotes reading

| 06 November 2007

A UK-wide push to get more foster children reading has kicked off in Belfast.

The Fostering Network initiative is backed by £18,000 from the Roald Dahl Foundation and will see foster families across the country encouraged to take part in one of five regional storytelling events.

Families at the events will meet professional authors and take part in group storytelling. James Gray, fundraising officer at the Fostering Network, said: "The aim is to start a debate with the fostering community about the value of reading and the benefits it can have on educational achievement. It also helps foster carers to read with the children they care for. This can be difficult if children are vulnerable or have complex needs."

Belfast foster carer May Doherty, who attended last week's launch, added: "I've been trying to get the children I care for to enjoy reading so if this helps get them reading it will be a great achievement."

The money from the Roald Dahl Foundation will also pay for a guide for foster carers that will be published next spring.

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