Our Doncaster Stories Hub has launched a series of Love Reading events with school children across the town. Each event is tailored to the different needs of participating schools to help them instil a love for reading in their classrooms.
The first event took place last week in Woodlands Library, with 90 children from three local schools (Woodlands Primary School, Highfield Primary School, and Carcroft Primary school) attending across the day. We used the space to help open up the world of literacy to the children through showing them how to get the most of their local library.
We showed the youngsters how to find books they will enjoy based on their interests, how to discover new authors, and how to access library resources for free. Recent research found that 1 in 8 disadvantaged children (11.4%) in Doncaster do not have a book of their own at home yet reading for pleasure has a huge positive effect on school attainment and future prospects. Therefore, libraries are vital community services for those who cannot access books at home.
As part of the event, children also enjoyed a storytelling session with local author and illustrator, Phil Sheppard – he even shared some top-tips for illustrating stories too! We also used the Doncaster 100 Reads list as inspiration for a book hunt as a way to make reading feel more exciting.
We also create take away activities for teachers to follow up in the classroom. For this session, we created a poetry pack for schools to create their own competitions. Following on from Phil Sheppard’s rhyming story, children will be encouraged to choose a favourite poem and perform it in front of their peers – helping them build confidence as well as their public speaking skills.
When we asked the children to rank their Love Reading session, the majority agreed that the event was excellent, and nobody ranked it lower than ‘good’. Over the next few months, 46 local primary schools will be given the opportunity to take part in our Love Reading events as part of our campaign to boost literacy across the town.
“I learnt how to find new books and new drawing techniques from an illustrator”Leah
“Today I learnt that books aren’t boring”McKenzie
“I learnt the names of new books and about the authors who wrote them”Riley