Service launched to improve speech, language and literacy development in schools

Service launched to improve speech, language and literacy development in schools

St Helens Council is pleased to announce the launch of a new service that offers high quality reading resources to support speech, language and literacy development in schools across the borough.

Books and Language Unite St Helens (BLUSH) is a partnership project between St Helens Schools Library Service, St Helens Libraries, Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and St Helens Paediatric Speech and Language Team with the aim of developing language skills through reading.

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators and other members of teaching staff who have recently received universal training on speech, language and communication from the Speech and Language Team can now access special BLUSH boxes from the Schools Library Service based at the Park Road Centre.

Anne Doyle, Assistant Director Operations, Childrens Service for Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “Bridgewater is really proud to be supporting this exciting project in St Helens schools.

Each BLUSH box contains a template with questions at varying levels of complexity, enabling anyone reading with the child to ask questions at the child’s level of understanding, whilst also supporting them to answer questions at a higher level and thereby developing the child’s understanding of language.

“Together with the training that we are currently delivering in our primary schools, we hope to make a real difference to all local children including those with speech, language and communications difficulties enabling them to join in successfully with all aspects of home, school and community life.”

Sue Williamson, Head of Library Services, said: “We hope to see schools take advantage of this wonderful new offer. The BLUSH boxes contain examples of the best books around today that have been written to introduce children and adults to the wonderful world of reading – whilst also improving their speech and language skills.”

Schools Library Service members can request BLUSH boxes free of charge.

Don’t blush if you aren’t a member of the Schools Library Service – boxes can be ordered for just £10.

For more details, please contact Kathryn Boothroyd by calling: 01744 677486.