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Families in Southwark learn together

London SE1 website team

More than 40 local families took part in an open day organised by an educational charity based near Blackfriars Road as part of Family Learning Week.

Families in Southwark learn together

Family Learning Week was established eight years ago and has become an annual national event offering nine days of fun for families with eventds delivered by schools, libraries, museums, sports centres, voluntary and community organisations.

"It's not often that families can take part in activities that are designed for the whole family to enjoy," says Cllr Caroline Pidgeon, Southwark's executive member for children's services and education. "Family Learning Week is a great opportunity for families to get together, have fun and learn something new.

"It's been recognised that young people's attainment goes up if they are learning as part of a wider family group," she added.

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is an educational charity that offers training and advice to practitioners involved in children's learning particularly in the fields of language, literacy and children's literature.

With funding from Southwark Adult Learning Services CLPE has also been able to embrace the learning needs of the community in Borough and Bankside by offering family learning activities at its centre in Webber Street.

Exploring Learning programmes for parents and carers are offered each term and the CLPE children's library is open to families every Thursday afternoon for book sharing and other fun activities.

CLPE's open day for families entitled Discover! Sharing Stories Together attracted more than 40 families with children from 0 to 9 years. Families were able to take part in activities linked to children's story books through the making and using of puppets, masks and dolls.

"A workshop on using computers with children was very popular as well as the interactive story session where adults' and children's voices filled the centre with laughter and song," explains family learning coordinator Gail Aldwin.

"Parents and children clearly enjoyed the event with one parent remarking 'this is a great day for my family – one which I will never forget'. Another local parent commented, 'to have the building open and accessible is great – what a wonderful resource for the community!'"

The open day was supported by partner organisations including Southwark Education and Training Advice for Adults who offered one-to-one training advice to parents and carers and London South Bank University who contributed items for a goody bag that every family attending the open day received.

The next event for families at CLPE is the Multicultural Book Event on Wednesday 18 October.

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