This is a call to action! An appeal to educators across the country to do something that would encourage their pupils to read more, and connect with their local community. The long-term benefits could be significant in terms of progress and engagement for individual children, and at the core of this action is sound, recognised research that supports potential outcomes. Not all families will rise to the challenge, but the results, if they choose to do so, are worth trying for.
This magic bullet is a homework task to join and use the local library this Easter holiday.
We know that once children have the nuts and bolts of reading, letting them choose what they read is the best way to make them want to read. If they want to read and find it pleasurable they will do it. If they read regularly they will improve more rapidly. If you want the evidence take a look at The Reading Scale by the clpe which clearly lists and groups research on reading.
It follows that showing our children how to access a vast range of free reading material will have a positive impact on reading. Furthermore, at this time when libraries are under extreme pressure and under threat of closure, it is not just an individual act to join and support your local library, but a real piece of community action.
If you have been through the education system at a higher level there will have been times when the library was most likely a big part of that process. It might be easy therefore to forget that many people do not know basic facts about them: Libraries are free. Libraries are Tardis-like with access to more books than can fit into one individual library building. They often look a bit daunting and official on the outside, but they want you to come in and use them. They have book-experts, computers, clubs and holiday activities.
Helping children and their families understand all this, opens the door to choice, for every child.
This action, this homework is to join and use the library over the course of the holiday. Now many children may go away or not have an adult that can take them to the library. For this reason it could be an extended homework that covers the week of return to school too. If a proportion of your class take up the challenge in this homework the results will not just be felt in that holiday. They have the potential to be improve a child’s reading and dare I say it change a child’s life. Isn’t that worth one homework?
For an editable word version of the homework click on the image above. For a free pdf version on TES resources click here.