Reading with Angels: Improving Literacy among Children in Foster Care

Ruth Knight
2013 Children Australia  
The Pyjama Foundation is an Australian charity working to improve the literacy and numeracy outcomes for children in foster care. The foundation delivers the Pyjama Foundation Love of Learning programme, a learning-based mentoring programme in which volunteer 'Pyjama Angels' visit children in care each week to read books, play games and engage in other learning-based activities. This study surveyed 121 Love of Learning mentors ('Pyjama Angels') to assess their perceptions of the relationships
more » ... ey had developed with the children they mentored and of the children's improvement in their literacy skills, a key aim of the programme. The statistical data analysis based on the structural equation modelling and multiple regression approach showed that several factors had a statistically significant impact on the mentors' perceptions of the children's improvement in literacy skills: relationship with the child, child's engagement and tenure in the programme, and frequency of meetings. Age and gender of the mentors were not found to have a statistically significant impact on mentors' perceptions of this improvement, while mentors' perceptions of their relationship with the children was the most important factor influencing their perceptions of improvement in literacy skills. The study did not include objective measures of the children's literacy outcomes, so its results are limited to the mentors' perceptions. However, this study offers valuable insights for mentoring programmes working with children living in foster care.
doi:10.1017/cha.2013.4 fatcat:dzt5meie3fco3cjwsqpzvybgzq