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February 19, 2016

World Book Day 2016

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.” – Roald Dahl

 

Like many solitary activities, reading might be seen as ‘uncool’ in the playground. But there is wealth of benefits available to those children who regularly pick up a book – it’s been scientifically proven!

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But why do we need these statistics and scientific facts to encourage children to read? When I was a child I enjoyed nothing more than dipping in to a Jacqueline Wilson book. My favourite was, and always will be, The Dustbin Baby – a tale about a young girl who was abandoned as an infant in a bin behind a Pizza restaurant. Another favourite was of course Roald Dahl, whose book Fantastic Mr Fox gave me hours of reading pleasure!

 

 

However, it is inevitable that computers, games consoles and mobiles will always seem a lot ‘cooler’ to most children than the picking up The BFG. But whilst technology continues to develop and surprise us, books have remained a constant source of personal entertainment and self-improvement for centuries.

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So how do we get children back into reading? 

 

The charity World Book Day has set up an official date (3rd March 2016) for both Primary and Secondary Schools across the UK to mark on their calendars as a celebration of all things literary! Visit their website, and it’s easy to become lost in the amount of literacy teaching resources available to download, the endless recommendations of books categorised into age-specific groups, competitions for your school to get involved in, and some fun children’s games which have certainly convinced me that reading is ‘cool’.

 

 

 

World Book Day also has its own TV channel where you can bring the excitement of this event into your classroom, inspire your children with interviews from some of the best children’s writers, and watch the latest book trailers to get them enthused to read a specific book! Videos like these…

 

But it’s not only reading that World Book Day is raving about! They want to encourage children to not only pick up a book, but also pick up a pen and experiment with their own story-telling. Supported by the likes of Jacqueline Wilson (The Story of Tracy Beaker), Julia Donaldson (The Gruffallo) and Jeremy Strong (My Dad’s Got an Alligator!), World Book Day has recently launched ‘Story-Craft’, a web-based story-telling tool to help children take their first steps towards writing and sharing stories. There are 50 different children’s authors who have shared their video ‘Story-Guides’, containing fun tips and pointers to help budding young writers at every stage of the story-telling process.

 

 

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To help you mark this very special event, we have launched our very own literacy workshops! Designed to bring the characters and the story of your favourite children’s book to life through drama and performance, we want to get your pupils excited about reading too! Inspired by our two favourite and arguably most classic children’s authors: Roald Dahl and Lewis Carroll, we have created two magical workshops…

 

Follow us into the fantastical Willy Wonka Factory where we will explore the great methods and madness that goes into making the famous Willy Wonka chocolate bar! No need for a golden ticket here, everyone is invited!

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

Or jump down the rabbit hole, and help Alice celebrate her birthday at the Mad Hatter’s special tea-party! Along the way we will bump into the grinning Cheshire cat, the March Hare and the Doormouse, along with a few characters that you might not have met before…

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To see all the literacy workshops we offer click here!

 

Finally, I’d like to finish on one of my favourite quotes from J.M. Barrie’s classic tale Peter Pan: ‘The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.’

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