Monday, 16 January 2012

Spread the joy of reading (and win prizes?)

Spread the joy of reading in your school - and maybe win prizes! Michael Rosen has teamed up with the Siobhan Dowd Trust in a campaign to build a database of good ideas for buliding a book loving school. The 10 schools who make the best suggestions will win £1000 worth of books.

Michael Rosen needs no introduction; he is a former Children's Laureate and we have large numbers of his books in the Library. Siobhan Dowd is also an author, but she had much less time to write - she died of cancer in 2007 aged just 47. One of her last acts was to set up this trust with the simple aim of bringing the joy of reading to those who need it most: children and young people who are disadvantaged and deprived of access to books. For this reason, one of the things you are asked when entering the competition is the percentage of children in your school who are eligible for free school meals. (Fee-paying schools are not eligible for a prize, though good ideas for encouraging reading are still welcome. Schools in more prosperous areas are eligible for entry if their initiative is very strong, but the Trust exists to favour readers from a disadvantaged background.)

We have three of Siobhan's books and are about to add to stock A monster calls by Patrick Ness, written from an idea she left behind and did not have time to do anything with. This is a great initiative and even if you don't win you could get some good ideas from the other entries to use in your school.