Read, Write, Count: Share your children’s dreams of ‘Future Me’

The Scottish Government is encouraging families across Scotland to share their children’s dreams for the future as part of their Read, Write, Count campaign

The Scottish Government is launching a new campaign as part of Read, Write, Count, encouraging families across Scotland to share their children’s dreams for the future.

Future Me aims to support families to start a conversation with their children about their hopes and aspirations, which will ultimately help to improve their lives in the future.

Chamille Andrews, 39, originally from Balornock, Glasgow has been taking on board the tips and advice offered by the Read, Write, Count campaign. She worked as a secretary in the construction industry for 23 years, and moved to Lennoxtown with her husband in 2008 so they could live a more “outdoorsy” lifestyle. Chamille is a mother of two children, Jayden, seven, and Sofia, five. Cycling is a favourite family activity and being outdoors has had an impact on their youngest daughter, Sofia who dreams of being a vet.

Chamille explains: “When Sofia was in nursery she always said she wanted to be a doctor, and she still does, only now she wants to be a doctor for animals instead of people. She takes every opportunity she gets to spend time with animals and she loves being taught about them. My friend has a horse and she loves going to help look after it.

When I talk to Sofia about becoming a vet, it helps build her confidence to be able to go out and do so

When I was a child I was always encouraged by my grandfather to be independent and to go get a job. I grew up in a single parent family, so my aim was to earn money to help my mum. I think that when I talk to Sofia about becoming a vet, it encourages her and helps build her confidence to be able to go out and do so.

“Sofia and I talk all the time about her dream to be a vet, she’s a real chatterbox so it’s not hard to get her talking about something she’s really interested in. I often ask her about her day at school, her friends or what she thinks about everyday topics to get the conversation started. We also discuss the importance of school and getting good exam results at high school so she could go to uni and fulfil her dream to become a qualified vet. She’s only five so I’m not sure she quite grasps the whole concept, but she will when she’s older.

“We often create games together like reading and counting the numbers on cars’ registration plates when we’re out and about, but I’d definitely like more ideas on ways you can read, write and count together – the ReadWriteCount website is a great place to start.”

Aaryan Javaid, seven, from Blantyre has also been encouraged to share his Future Me dreams as a result of his mum, Shazia, taking its advice: he’s dreaming of becoming a professional boxer.

Shazia (pictured above with Aaryan), 34, from Lanarkshire, is a full-time mum, and she and Aaryan’s favourite activity is reading books together. But Aaryan dreams of becoming a professional boxer and is encouraged to follow his dream by his mum.

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Shazia says: “Aaryan dreams of becoming the next Muhammad Ali. We talk about boxing all the time and I joke with him saying how do you expect to be Muhammad Ali with an uppercut like that? He knows I’m only teasing. Aaryan attends regular boxing training three times a week, where he spars with the other kids and works towards eventually going on to achieve his dreams. I believe that inspiring him to talk about his dream and attending training sessions encourages him to look towards his future in a positive way.

“My parents were very strict and encouraged me to stay in school. I’m glad now that they did, because I then went on to achieve a degree in law, although I’m currently a devoted full-time mum.

“I’m often looking for more ideas on how to read, write and count with Aaryan. The Read, Write, Count website is great and we use it a lot, especially when we are on the bus.”

These are exactly the sort of conversations that the Future Me campaign aims to support families to begin: it’s all about their hopes and aspirations, which will ultimately help to improve their lives in the future.

And the campaign asks families to share those dreams, either as a picture, letter or film on the Future Me wall at www.futureme.scot.

Future Me is part of Read, Write, Count which is a Scottish Government campaign that aims to improve key numeracy and literacy skills among children in Primaries 1 to 3. Parents and carers can play a big part in helping children achieve their dreams.

As a parent, I realise what a crucial role I can play in helping my daughters think for themselves

Supporting the campaign is Mark Beaumont, world record breaking cyclist who has worked hard to make his childhood dreams come true with the vital support of his parents. As a result, Mark has achieved his dream of cycling around the world and setting a number of world firsts.

Mark explains: “As a parent myself, I realise what a crucial role I can play in helping my daughters think for themselves and make their dreams happen. In this era of constant on screen information and instant gratification it’s critical that we have time together to talk, to story tell, to make plans and to build memories together. It’s only with the support of my parents encouraging me to enjoy the outdoors and have adventures that I am in the position I am today.”

The Future Me campaign is about encouraging parents and carers to talk to their children about their dreams and ambitionsDeputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills John Swinney adds: “The Future Me campaign is about encouraging parents and carers to talk to their children about their dreams and ambitions for the future so they can start working to make these dreams a reality together.

“This will not only help to raise aspirations, increase attainment and deliver better outcomes it will also provide families with ideas they can do together to build essential lifelong skills which will benefit their children whatever they decide to do.

“I look forward to seeing the dreams of our young people throughout the country shared on the Future Me wall.”

To get involved in the campaign parents can enter online at www.futureme.scot or families can head to their local library and post an entry form in the Future Me post box. Each family taking part will receive a certificate and a place on the digital wall for their child.

The campaign builds on existing Scottish Government efforts to tackle educational inequalities and raise attainment in early years and beyond.

Visit www.readwritecount.scot or join Read, Write, Count on Twitter and Facebook for great tips, activities and ideas that make reading, writing and counting with children an easy, fun and positive experience.