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Toddler learning virtually by Ludovic Toinel

Manchester Art Gallery launches digital campaign to help families build language skills of children under five

  • Gallery and Read Manchester roll out Hungry Little Minds to help parents improve toddlers' literacy skills
  • Digital campaign launched after research by National Literacy Trust found one in two parents need more resources to help children’s language development
  • Learning packs to be given to families most affected by covid-19

Manchester Art Gallery and Read Manchester have launched a virtual campaign to help parents build their children’s literacy skills at home.

The Hungry Little Minds campaign will provide a variety of activities and online resources for families to help their children improve their language skills in an engaging and hands-on way.

It comes after research by the National Literacy Trust found that one in two parents of children under five require more digital resources to help their child’s language development.

Families across 12 local areas have access to the campaign, including Manchester and the Greater Manchester region. 

Project manager for Read Manchester Alice Birdwood said: “We are delighted to be bringing the Hungry Little Minds campaign to young families across Manchester, encouraging them to discover the joys and benefits of chatting, playing and reading together every day.”

The resources provided by the campaign are centred around the themes of chat, play and read, with new content shared and accessible by thousands of families over the next six months.

Stories, art, activities, events, news and videos will be shared on the Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Facebook pages.

Father and toddler reading from a storybook

Cllr Luthfur Rahman, executive member for culture, leisure and skills, said: “We all know the under-fives are like sponges – whether they’re babes-in-arms, toddlers, or pre-schoolers – they mop up every experience and every interaction with other people that comes their way.

"That’s why it’s vital we do everything we can to share the good stuff with parents and carers that we know will make a positive difference to their child’s development both now and in the future.”

The campaign was launched last weekend with a digital story and arts event led by Manchester-based storyteller Dominic Berry and artist Naomi Kendrick.

The event was held at Manchester Art Gallery and then shared on the Read Manchester and Manchester Art Gallery Facebook pages.

Local organisations, including early years settings, children’s centres, health visitors for homeless families, and women’s refuges, will also be consulted in order to provide physical home-learning packs containing books and learning resources to families who have been most impacted by the pandemic.

Hungry Little Minds is being funded by the Department of Education and supported by the National Literacy Trust.

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