We invited our partners at Book Clubs in Schools to write about their work. They’ve written this lovely account.
“Book Clubs in Schools (BCS) is an initiative to develop a love of reading at a young age and promote social inclusion. It is a peer-to-peer mentoring programme where older secondary school pupils lead book clubs for younger secondary school and primary school pupils. We work in partnership with GAB which very kindly supplies books for schools in disadvantaged areas. Since its inception BCS has delivered book clubs to over 3000 secondary and primary school pupils and 70 secondary school pupils have participated as book club leaders. Through our partnership with GAB we have given 300 books to seven of schools. This is an example of how peer to peer mentoring works for the older children.
Student A started as a book club leader at West Wimbledon Primary School in January. Working alongside another Year 10 pupil, he led a book club of eight Year 3 students reading The Twits. He was concerned about what this would involve and whether he would be able to do it properly. The training provided by BCS reassured him and gave him lots of helpful material to use in his preparation.
He started by sticking closely to the pre-prepared questions, but started to branch out using his own ideas and now uses role-play to explore what they have read, re-creating their favourite scenes from the book. He has grown hugely in confidence and is clearly enjoying the responsibility of running his own group (with his partner). He is always well-prepared for each session and has discovered skills he didn’t know he had, with a calm authority and the children seem naturally to do what he suggests. He has also benefited from having to think on his feet and respond to the circumstances of each session. This has been an invaluable experience, helping him adapt to different situations, teaching him life skills and coping skills that it would be difficult to provide in the ordinary school curriculum.”
To find out more about the BCS project visit the website www.bookclubsinschools.org