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The VoorleesExpress

 

VoorleesExpress aims to promote children’s language development by enriching the home literacy environment and enabling parents to support their child’s language growth in their own way. Research shows that children who are read to at an early age have an advantage over children without similar reading experiences. It turns out that it has a positive effect on their language development.

For a period of twenty weeks, a volunteer reader pays weekly visits to a family. During these visits, the volunteer reader initially demonstrates shared reading to parents by engaging them in shared reading activities with their child. The parents are encouraged to gradually take over the role of the volunteer, by engaging in shared reading and other literacy-related activities with their child.

VoorleesExpress initially started as a small scale initiative in the city of Utrecht. Our approach has developed from being an intuitive process to becoming a professional method. We have grown from assisting 10 families in 2006, to reaching over 5000 families a year in 2018. VoorleesExpress collaborates with different (local) partners in the field of reading promotion, parental involvement, voluntary work and social participation.

The VoorleesExpress can be found in the Effective Literacy Practices Database of Unesco. Recent ongoing research shows that children who participate in the VoorleesExpress show a significant increase in their performance when it comes to narrative comprehension.