Here at Give a Book, we create projects to encourage the pleasure of reading in schools and other organisations. We love working with schools who are proactive and keen on promoting reading in the school, especially in areas where reading may not be as high a priority at home.
Every year, we look for a whole school reading project to be able to support. This year, we have been able to help Brimsdown school in Enfield which is in one of the most deprived areas in North London, where children start school at a much lower level compared to national data. More than 60% of the children attending are pupil premium (ie are on free school meals) and often have little or no access to books at home. The local library has recently closed and the nearest bookshop is some distance away from the school.
When we visited the school earlier in the year to assess the needs, we found that there was no library space and the only book selection was a trolley or two of books. Having expanded the school from 3 to 4 form entry and with very little budget, there has been no library space for some time. The school is striving to create an inclusive and aspirational curriculum to improve the life chances for all pupils and we at Give a Book want to add to this by helping create a calm, relaxing, imaginative library space to read, thus hopefully leading to more reading happening both at school and subsequently in the home environment.
Plans for the school
We are hoping to change the reading culture at the school. Give a Book want to create a haven for reading in a bright new library space as well as providing books to start filling the shelves. We are also advising the school on their application to Foyles in order to get more funding into the school.
What has happened so far?
We have set up a Breakfast Book club providing books alongside breakfast.
“Previously, our Breakfast Club’s books were dated and children were not enthused to pick up a book to read. Since receiving a fantastic, relevant and up to date list of books from Give a Book, we have noticed that the children enjoy reading a range of titles in the mornings. For us, one of the main school development areas was to raise the profile in reading and providing high quality texts into Breakfast Club has done just that!”
“Thank you for the wonderful books you have provided for our Breakfast Club. The children are always so engaged with them and have even been recommending some of their favourite titles to their friends. As I am the Reading Lead at our school, it is wonderful to see how enthused children have become over the last term.” Literacy Lead
We have set up a reading club
“..we really wanted to provide children with an opportunity where they could read in a small group at lunchtimes and experience the real benefits of reading and discussing a book with our peers. The children have absolutely loved reading the titles requested and there is a real buzz to continue reading. It is so lovely seeing children walking around with their books at playtime and even asking when we are going to meet next to continue discussing the story!”
We have connected the school with poet Neal Zetter who will be visiting the school for a special assembly.
We have set in motion plans to create a reading and library space in the school and we will update you in the new year with how this whole school reading project is progressing.
“Give a Book has really transformed their reading experiences as a whole. Once again, we would like to thank you for providing our school with this opportunity”