Last year we started a big collaborative project with George Mitchell school, helping them to get the pleasure of reading back into the heart of the school. The last time we visited the school was back in November 2017 for the launch of the new library, so we popped back in this month to see how everything is going.
The librarian Jackie is doing a great job encouraging the students and the new books and library space have gone down really well with the students too. Having conducted Before and After surveys with a sample of students from each of the secondary year groups, we were very pleased to see an increase in enjoyment of reading amongst the pupils since the library was set up.
With the joint grant with Siobhan Dowd Trust, Jackie was able to take some of the pupils on a book buying spree at their local bookshop Phlox books. The children really enjoyed being able to make their own choices in book selection and bought a range of great titles for the library.
What of the Patron of Reading? This scheme links authors and writers with schools for an individual to have a longer relationship with a school, engaging the pupils, encouraging and supporting reading and generally creating a buzz about books! Who did the school choose? Emma Trevayne is an enthusiastic MG and YA writer and is now the official Patron of Reading for George Mitchell school. She has come along for a couple of meetings to plan what is in store for the next year. She has started putting together a bookshelf of recommended reads and will be doing workshops with the children in the new academic year. Exciting stuff; we will report back with an update when this all starts.
A quote from the librarian Jackie:
We are a small community school in East London, a lot of our students don’t have the luxury of owning a book, least of all a “New Book” – that was until Give a Book got involved with our school. Through the kindness of the charity we have managed to fill our lovely new library with books for both our Primary and Secondary school. We have been so overwhelmed by the kindness and warmth from Give a Book, who have also kindly agreed to pay for the signage of our library, to help students find their way around.
Without a doubt Give a Book has helped to transform Reading for pleasure at George Mitchell School, the children love coming to the Library and browsing through the shelves, and borrowing books to take home and share with their families.”
A quote from the one of the pupils at George Mitchell school:
“Most people see a library as a place to read or a place to research things for homework…not our library…yes you can do all those things but you can also explore, go on a never-ending adventure (well I suppose it ends when the bell rings) but apart from that you can also experience a twisted, crazy ride of emotions while also gaining very important knowledge on how to defeat a wizard or how to build incredibly high tree houses.
Since our library has improved our journey of adventure has too! We are able to explore new worlds of witches and wizards, educate our self on how to get through the troubling teenage years and even fight for people’s rights even when we are faced with immense danger.”
We are enjoying this project and look forward to continue supporting this fantastic school, who even have a reading rose in the name of Give a Book!