Reading for pleasure brings children many rewards, but now there's an extra-special one on offer for one lucky primary school, thanks to The Reading Agency's Chatterbooks network of children's reading groups.
Simply tell us why your school runs a Chatterbooks reading club, or why it is planning to start one, and you could win a visit from top children's writer Jacqueline Wilson, author of such bestselling books as The Story of Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and Lily Alone. Jacqueline will give a talk, answer children's questions, and sign books. Full details of how to enter, plus an entry form, can be found at: http://readinggroups.org/jacquelinewilson
Chatterbooks is a reading group programme for children aged eight to eleven, and its patron is top children's author Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Chatterbooks groups (Clonclyfrau in Wales) run in libraries, schools and wherever people want to set them up. They support children's literacy development by encouraging them to have a really good time reading and talking about books.
The Chatterbooks programme gives a best practice framework for creating inspiring reading groups for primary school aged children, helping them work together to encourage reading for pleasure, an important factor in educational attainment, and in meeting schools' statutory targets and standards. Chatterbooks is created by The Reading Agency, the charity working to inspire more people to read more.
Lucy Bakewell is school library manager at Hill West Primary School in Sutton Coldfield, where a Chatterbooks group was set up in July 2012. She says: "Chatterbooks has allowed us to take reading out of the classroom, which has given the children the time and space to discover books on their terms."
Indeed, the links between reading for pleasure and attainment are well documented (see "Notes to editors"). Chatterbooks sessions are designed to give children confidence in speaking, writing and reading in a group, choosing books for themselves, and talking about what they like to read. Group leaders are provided with lots of session ideas, and through The Reading Agency's partnership with leading children's publishers Chatterbooks groups get a stream of information, tips, promotions and goodies featuring the best in children's books.
Jacqueline Wilson says: "I do hope as many schools as possible run Chatterbooks reading clubs - I think they're a brilliant idea. I'm looking forward to visiting the winning school."
- The closing date for this competition is 14 December 2012.
Miranda McKearney of The Reading Agency says: "Chatterbooks is a great way of developing children's love of reading and helping to build their reading skills, and we are delighted to have Jacqueline Wilson's support for this competition".
Don't delay! Check out the competition details at: http://readinggroups.org/jacquelinewilson. They include making sure your Chatterbooks group is signed up to the Reading Groups For Everyone website
Deborah Hyde, Oasis Media
firstname.lastname@example.org or 07956 320 486
Notes to editors
- The Reading Agency is an independent charity working to inspire more people to read more. It is funded by the Arts Council, and has a formal partnership with public library services (www.readingagency.org.uk). Dame Jacqueline Wilson is an ambassador for The Reading Agency.
- The prize-winning visit to a school: Jacqueline Wilson will do one talk at the winning school, to Years 3-6. The talk will last for one hour which will include time for the children to answer some questions. She will then be happy to sign books afterwards for anyone who would like it, maximum of one per child. There will be opportunities for a local bookseller to have a presence at the visit, and for local media to take photos.
- Research shows that children who enjoy reading are more likely to score highly on reading assessments than those who don't (PIRLS 2009).
- Children who use libraries are twice as likely to be above average readers (National Literacy Trust 2011).
- Reading for pleasure is a more important determinant of children's educational success than their family's socio-economic status (OECD 2002; Oxford University 2011)
- 2011 research from Oxford University shows that reading for pleasure is the only out-of-school activity demonstrably linked to securing managerial or professional jobs. (Reading at 16 is linked to better job prospects, Mark Taylor, University of Oxford, 2011).