ITV Signed Stories is hosting a special storytelling event at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London to celebrate World Book Day 2013.
CITV’s Joe Sheridan and multi-award-winning author Jan Fearnley (Egmont Press) will perform to children in the hospital’s schoolroom and on the wards, in English and British Sign Language on Thursday March 7.
Deaf storyteller Joe Sheridan, who is the host of ITV’s hugely successful TV series Signed Stories, says he can’t wait to bring Jan's Mr Wolf books to life!
If your child is a member of an after school club, reading group, or any other type of youth group, the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, would like to invite them to help to judge the winner of this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, which celebrates the best books that communicate science to young people aged up to 14.
The books may be factual or fictional, just as long as they make science exciting – no textbooks or encyclopaedias will be allowed! Publishers across the UK have been submitting their best recent books that communicate science to young people and an adult judging panel will narrow down the choice to a shortlist of six books. Following that, groups of young people will discuss the books and collectively select the winner. Participation is open to any group of young people that is able to read and discuss the shortlist and recommend their choice for who should win.
Celebrities, authors, businesses and key players in the publishing industry are coming together to launch the Children’s Reading Fund – a new fundraising drive which aims to ‘change the story’ for the UK’s most vulnerable and disengaged children through the power of stories and reading.
Launching on Thursday 17th January, the Children’s Reading Fund is being created by Booktrust, the independent reading and writing charity. Specifically targeting children aged between 4 and 11, the new fund will use books and e-books, CDs, games and performance to inspire children to engage more with reading and writing and thus to change their own story.
Digital reading is rising fast among children ages 6 to 17, but this is not necessarily translating into a greater desire to read, according to a report released on Monday by Scholastic Inc.
Every other year since 2006, Scholastic, a publisher and distributor of children’s books, has surveyed American families about their attitudes toward reading and literacy.
The latest study, the Kids and Family Reading Report, conducted with Harrison Group, showed both the advantages and the drawbacks of the digital age when it comes to encouraging reading among young people.
Photo credit: flickingerbrad
The new Move4words Literacy Booster, is a new novel, motivational approach to enhancing literacy and learning for children aged 7-11 (KS2). School trials of the not-for-profit Move4words programme have had dramatic impact, more than doubling reading, writing and maths progress for low-achievers. Reading age and speed also improve significantly, particularly for poor readers.
Several thousand children have already used Move4words, many have noticed that they can concentrate better and that reading is easier. Teachers have praised the effects, which range from improved SATs results and reading, to better behaviour and more focus and attention in class.
It is well documented that there is a “reading gender gap” between boys and girls and that it is growing. Schools are attempting to address reading issues by using synthetic phonics to teach the mechanics of reading from Reception onwards. And quite often children are introduced to letter sounds and shapes even earlier. So why are some children, in particular boys, falling behind in their reading and what resources are out there to help them get back on track?
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo, who provided evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Literacy Group Commission on this issue, says:
Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress are highly motivational, online reading platforms that take pupils on a journey from learning essential reading skills to more complex application and comprehension. Learning to read becomes a fun and exciting experience for 4 – 13 year olds, who quickly develop confidence, self-esteem and a love of reading. The program can help a wide range of pupils to become proficient readers.
Many struggling and reluctant readers really enjoy working on a computer, as it allows them to progress at their own pace. The lessons provide plenty of practice in developing key reading skills and the interesting activities can be repeated as often as needed. The bright graphics and repetition work well with a wide range of pupils who immediately experience success and learn key reading skills.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for myself as an English and Media Studies teacher, and educators more broadly, is the constant fight against the steady decline of reading ability, and the capacity for reading for pleasure, that we find each year in our schools. Without wishing to sound like a jack-booted CBI spokesperson (who seem to exist only to reduce corporate taxes and demonise the state education system), there is undoubtedly a decline in reading that has a pervasive effect on our students and their life chances; affecting their capacity to read both functionally, and as equally importantly, to experience the imaginative delights that reading literature has to offer. I am sure many teachers could provide lots of anecdotal evidence of a decline in reading habits (by this, I must stress ‘traditional’ reading – web reading is in rude health in many aspects), alongside some hard statistical evidence.
Film makers, Dramatic Media, and children’s author, Julia Jarman, have collaborated on a unique literacy project, designed to give children insights into literature and visual media.
Working with children from a Bedfordshire middle school, a film bringing to life a key chapter from the novel Ghost Writer has been produced. This award winning book features a dyslexic boy haunted by the ghost of a Victorian schoolboy.
There are many different views on educational policy but one thing everyone agrees on is the importance of independent reading as a cornerstone of educational development.
How to make reading attractive isn’t easy in a world where children are sophisticated consumers and budgets, space and time are limited. Competition for children’s attention is fierce and if we are serious about encouraging children to read more and develop a life-long love of reading we have to look at the whole experience. Presenting books so that they appear irresistible and children just can’t help but reach out and take them is the first step.