Community Rail Lancashire has been taking part in the National Literacy Trust Inspiring Parents project in Keighley and Tong and Bowling. Inspiring Parents aims to improve literacy attainment for children aged 9 to 11 by supporting their parents to be more involved in their learning at school and at home.
Last year, nearly a third of children in Bradford (29%) left primary school unable to read at the expected level for their age. Research shows that when parents and carers take an active role in their children’s education it can transform their chances of success at school and beyond.
The programme will operate in selected schools in Keighley and in Tong and Bowling to promote positive parent-school interactions and raise awareness of the impact of parental engagement at home. It will be run by parent volunteers from the local community, who are best placed to understand, and help overcome, the challenges facing families in the area. They will be known as Parent Champions.
The project was launched with a fun-filled launch event, where local families were invited to take part in lots of fun activities and were treated to a storytelling session from author James Nicol.
On Thursday 25th and Friday 26th April, the parent champions and their families were taken on a rail journey to Morecambe with CRL’s Education Development Officer Karen to experience the benefits of travelling by train. The families really enjoyed using the Bentham Line’s activity packs and were helped to complete by Northern’s conductor George. Some of the families had never taken the train together before and enjoyed the beautiful views as they passed through the Yorkshire Dales. Many were keen on taking another rail journey soon.
The families enjoyed singing by the Eric Morecambe statue, eating a picnic kindly donated by Morrisons and playing on the beach. Each child was also given a book to take home from the National Literacy Trust – including Karen’s own son Laurie who enjoyed coming to work with his Mum for the day.
Community Rail Lancashire would like to thank the Bentham Line CRP for their help with this project and for providing activity packs for the children and to Arriva Rail North for providing assistance with the travel.