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A survey has found that less than a third of UK parents read to their children every day. Reporter BEN OLIVE went on to the streets of Norwich to find out if it was true.

Kirsty Roberts and Toby. Reading vox pop: Staff pictures

Kirsty Roberts and Toby. Reading vox pop: Staff pictures

Archant

Mothers and grandparents in Norwich city centre have outlined the benefits of reading daily to their youngsters, after a new survey found that less than a third of UK parents still did it.

The survey found that just 30pc of parents read to their children daily, with the rest admitting that they were either too tired for tales, got home from work too late, had other things to do, or blamed modern technology for distracting them from storytelling.

The figures, however, did find that more than half of parents considered that storytelling allowed them to spend quality time together and they said they knew their children enjoyed having books read to them.

The survey also found that mothers were likelier to read to their youngsters than fathers and grandparents.

The poll of 1,000 parents and grandparents of children under the age of six was run by Disney as it launches its Winnie the Pooh Storytelling Academy.

People in Norwich city centre today called on parents to read to their children more often.

Hannah Woodhall, 31, from Gertrude Road in Norwich, reads to her three-year-old daughter Martha and believes it is crucial as children grow up.

The library and information assistant at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library said: “Reading to a child from day one is so important. It helps with a child’s concentration, attention, learning and speech. It’s a no-brainer. I think time is the biggest reason people don’t do it.”

Retired couple Chris, 71, and Brian Varty, 75, from Hethersett, have always read to their two children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren but believe technology in the house is a big distraction.

They said: “We read to our children and our daughter reads to hers. We still read to our great-grandchildren – and reading has run in the family. I think there is too much technology in the place though; kids are put in front of the TV too much.”

Meanwhile, teacher Kirsty Roberts, 28, of Cringleford, said her son Toby enjoyed the time they spent reading together.

She said: “We read very regularly. We have been reading to him since he was a baby and his concentration at 19 months is extremely good. He loves it. It is also invaluable for relationships.”

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