19 March 2013 at 10:05
There can't be many schools in this country who didn't know that last Thursday was World Book Day. At Readathon we're enjoying catching up with how everyone celebrated reading for pleasure on that special day.
First up on our website to share their World Book Day news is Claremont Primary School in Blackpool, one of the hundreds of schools all over England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales who chose World Book Day to run a Readathon sponsored read. From the list of events sent to us by Mrs Barr, Claremont's Reading Leader, (pictured here as Mr Stink with her son as The Boy in a Dress) their day was action-packed, making reading fun for everyone!
"As well as taking part in our Readathon sponsored read, each child came dressed as a character from a book they liked, and they presented their character and their book in an assembly for book prizes. We also included a home reading challenge, peer reads, small group reads and quiet individual reads. Each year group made a reading tree, which parents then came in to see."
Of course, World Book Day is a fab time to start or finish your Readathon, although you can run a Readathon at any time of year. Just register on line and we'll send you your free resource pack.
What did your school do for World Book Day this year? Please send us your stories and photos and we'll display the best on our website!
Posted in Readathon sponsored read | primary school | World Book Day | England | No Comments
26 February 2013 at 10:08
Readathon is delighted to have been chosen as one of World Book Night's first ever institutional book givers.
World Book Day or World Book Night?
Not to be confused with World Book Day, which specifically targets schoolchildren, World Book Night is a relatively new event, designed to turn people of all ages who do not habitually read for pleasure into enthusiastic leisure readers. It aims at eroding the shocking statistic that 1 in 3 households reportedly do not contain a book.
Sponsored by the BBC, the book trade and reading agencies, the organisers of World Book Night produce 400,000 copies of special edition paperbacks of popular books, chosen to appeal to a diverse potential audience. (Click here to see this year's list of 20 titles.)
How We Were Chosen As A Book Giver
The books are distributed free of charge by volunteers. Designated "book givers", these are keen readers who apply for the task by choosing one of the 20 titles and explaining how they would distribute free copies to reluctant readers. Successful applicants collect 20 copies of their selected World Book Night title from their preferred local bookshop or library.
This year, for the first time, institutions have been allowed to apply to become book givers. Readathon's application was approved, and so on 23rd April, we will be distributing 20 copies of Robert Louis Stevenson's seminal pirate adventure Treasure Island to reluctant young readers whose attitude to reading could be transformed by the gift of a brand new book of their own.
We will connect with eligible young people via the nationwide network of schools who run our Readathon sponsored read. If you are a teacher or librarian with a pupil who you think would benefit from a free copy of Treasure Island, please contact us as soon as possible.
Posted in free books | World Book Night | 2 Comments »
25 January 2013 at 11:27
On the spot in Northern Ireland to collect Ballyclare Secondary School's fabulous Readathon cheque this term was Fionnuala Savage of CLIC Sargent.
At the end of last year Ballyclare Secondary School took part in its second sponsored Readathon Challenge. Pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 were given the opportunity to read throughout all of their English classes for one week. All pupils were asked to raise as much money as possible for three worthy causes: CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading children’s cancer charity, Roald Dahl Marvellous Children’s Charity, supporting children with neurological and blood disorders, and ReadWell, taking free books and storytellers into children's hospitals to make young patients' lives better.
"Congratulations to all the pupils in years 8,9 and 10 for your diligence in collecting sponsorship money from family and friends - well done to everyone inolved!" said Fionnuala, pictured here with Mrs Bell (Principal) with Ella Cooke and Peter Allen (Year 8 students).
Posted in school visits | CLIC Sargent | No Comments
21 December 2012 at 10:27
We've just had an unusual guest in the Readathon office: one with four legs and a wet nose!
Pippa the dog and her owner Deborah Neame, from the charity Dogs Helping Kids, came to demonstrate how reading to dogs can improve children’s literacy skills. It is especially helpful to reluctant readers and to young readers who lack confidence and and enthusiasm, but all children of all ages may benefit.
Half Labrador, half Dalmation, Pippa is a naturally calm and comforting presence, but even so, extensive training is required to turn a suitable dog into a safe, consistent and purposeful DHK dog.
The training includes teaching the dogs to treat books and readers with interest, respect and undivided attention, and to tolerate children’s behaviour. DHK dogs must also learn to reward the young reader at the end of each session, such as pressing a button on a device that speaks a message and doing amusing tricks.
“It was easy to find young volunteers to help with Pippa’s demonstration!” explains Justine, Readathon's director.
Two boys from nearby Amberley Parochial Primary School, an avid Readathon supporter, took it in turns to read to Pippa.
Looking on, their Headmaster Pete Godfrey commented: “I was very impressed with this demonstration and can see how effective this approach would be within a school environment.”
Supporting children’s reading in primary and secondary schools is just part of a much wider educational and therapeutic brief for DHK, which was founded in North Devon by Tracey Berridge. A qualified professional Canine Behaviour Counsellor. Tracy earned her Master's Postgraduate Degree in 'Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling'. Her thesis about the effects of using dogs in the school environment identified tremendous benefits of introducing dogs into schools. These include teaching children non-violence, empathy, respect, kindness, love, responsibility, friendship and trust. In the long term, DHK aims to have a dog in every school in the UK. In the meantime, it is busy raising awareness, fundraising and recruiting and training suitable dogs.
Posted in primary school | secondary school | Partner Organisations | No Comments
20 December 2012 at 12:14
At the Readathon office, we're always touched by great feedback from young readers whose schools have run a Readathon sponsored read. In the run-up to Christmas and the season of goodwill, it's been especially heartwarming to receive a message this morning from The Corbet School, a Shrewsbury secondary school.
These fabulous quotes from Year 7 readers show that not only did they enjoy their reading, they were also highly motivated by being empowered to help children less fortunate than themselves.
"I loved Readathon, I loved the experience and that we have raised so much money. What an opportunity I have had in my childhood to be able to raise money for children who are ill! I have made everyone in my family proud and I hope that I have made the children who are ill very happy. I hope I have put a smile on their faces because I have a smile on my face!" (Amy M)
"I enjoyed Readathon. I am happy because I met my Readathon target and I am so pleased that we have helped those less fortunate." (Dominic B)
"I think it was an amazing experience and I really enjyoed it. I hope they do it every year! It made you want to push yourself and read more books." (Alex W)
"Readathon is really good. I don't really like reading but I enjoyed Readathon because it was for people who needed it. I hope all the money we raised will help a lot. It was an opportunity to show that reading can change people's lives. I am happy with what we raised. Everyone enjoyed reading to help people. Thank you to everyone who got sponsors and everyone who sponsored someone." (Katie H)
"Readathon was a very good experience and it all goes to a good cause. Everybody just lit up with happiness when we found out how much money we had raised. If you ever get a chance to take part in a Readathon, take it!" (George W)
Posted in secondary school | Readathon sponsored read | No Comments
27 November 2012 at 11:32
We're always delighted to hear about schools who have added their own creative ideas to their Readathon, and Barr Beacon School, a secondary school in Walsall, West Midlands, is a great example.
Barr Beacon School has designated a list of 13 recommended books, each championed by a particular member of staff. Pupils sign up to read one book from this list. After they've read it, they chat about the book with other pupils who chose it, mentored by the book's staff champion, before compiling a joint review of the book. The school has made a brilliant promotional video to encourage pupils to take part.
This sophisticated approach, led by Director of English Miss Melanie Rock, echoes aspects of the judging process of national and international book awards. We're sure it will be a really interesting and enjoyable process for all involved - including the teachers!
Posted in secondary school | No Comments
20 November 2012 at 12:43
When we discovered via our local high street bookseller,The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, that a teacher at one of the schools closest to our office had just published her first book, we had to meet her!
And so it was that Sophie E Tallis, author of fantasy novel White Mountain, came to visit us during the half term break, fitting us in between a whirlwind tour of local bookshops, where she is in demand for book-signing events.
Sophie is delighted to be associated with Readathon, being an avid reader who has just installed the twelfth bookcase in her home! She is currently planning a Readathon sponsored read for the pre-prep division of Beaudesert Park.
Reading was one of Sophie's favourite childhood pastimes. She especially loved The Hobbit, Alice In Wonderland, Heidi, Robinson Crusoe and the complete works of Beatrix Potter. She enjoyed writing and drawing from the age of five and always wanted to become an author.
"When at secondary school I received a long, personal reply to a fan letter that I'd written to the author Lynda La Plante, I realised that authors were real people too," recalls Sophie. "So I knew that my dream of becoming a writer could come true!"
And now it has, with the publication of her debut novel White Mountain. Suitable for readers aged 9 to adult, this fantasy tale was inspired by Sophie's gap year travels in New Zealand and by myths and legends from around the world, especially those from Tibet and Sumeria. Her book also cleverly blends wizards, witches and dragons with the modern real world.
While the story is illustrated with Sophie's intricate drawings, the prose is also clearly the work of someone with an artist's eye, being characterised by vivid, almost three-dimensional descriptions of ithe story's spectacular settings.
Our office copy of White Mountain is now dog-eared from being passed around our team, and the book has also gone down well at Sophie's school, where the children have enjoyed finding out at first hand what it's like to be an author.
"There's no greater buzz than reading your own book to a child and seeing them immersed in the story," says Sophie, who worked at an inner-city school in a deprived area before joining Beaudesert Park, a coeducational prep school.
White Mountain, published by Safkhet Publishing, is now available from high street bookshops, including The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop and other good bookshops everywhere.
Posted in prep school | authors | 1 Comments »
19 November 2012 at 11:14
Last week he pupils of Huish Episcopi Academy, in Langport, Somerset, staged a brilliant Variety Show to boost their Readathon fundraising. The evening of fun involved comedy, singing and playing musical instruments. Guest of honour was Readathon's founder, Brough Girling, pictured here with the show's cast.
It was the idea of staff member Phillipa Burrell to stage this event to raise awareness of Readathon and the charities it supports for seriously ill children: CLIC Sargent, Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity and Readwell.
“I would like to say a very big thank you to Mr Brough Girling, founder of Readathon, for visiting our school and meeting the cast of the Variety Show," said Phillipa Burrell, who runs the annual Readathon in the school Library.
Mr Brough Girling said: "Thousands of schools do Readathon every year, but Huish Episcopi School is among the very best of them. The students there obviously love reading and love raising money for sick children too."
A big thanks to everyone involved!
Posted in school visits | Readathon sponsored read | secondary school | No Comments
07 November 2012 at 10:43
Michael Rosen, the former Children's Laureate who founded the Roald Dahl Funny Prize to make reading more fun, had the pleasure of announcing the winners of the 2012 award at a ceremony in London last night.
In the category for readers aged 7-14, the winner was "Dark Lord: The Teenage Years", written by Jamie Thomson and illustrated by undergraduate student Freya Hartas.
The winner for the 6 and under section was "My Big Shouting Day" by Rebecca Patterson. (This picture of the authors is by the Book Trust.)
For more information about the winners and the others on the shortlist, which includes high profile writers such as David Walliams and Frank Cotterell Boyce, click here to go to the Book Trust website.
29 October 2012 at 11:36
We are pleased to share this press release and lovely photo issued by Dunottar School. If you'd like your school's success story to appear here, please email us your news and digital photos.
Pupils at Dunottar School in Reigate are celebrating their success with Readathon. Readathon is the UK’s national sponsored reading event. It encourages students to read for pleasure, while raising money for seriously ill children.
Throughout the summer, the Year 8 students did sponsored reads and raised a total of £568.65.
Student Bee Watson, 13, said: “I made an effort to read more books over the summer – I had lots of time to do this!”
Organiser and English teacher Mrs Turner said: “We run Readathon every year as it is an extremely enjoyable activity for the girls who read books they have chosen themselves, knowing that at the same time they are raising funds to help seriously ill children. Taking part in Readathon also has longer term benefits as pupils are encouraged to continue reading widely afterwards and often play a more active role in supporting other charities.”
Year 8 students are pictured celebrating their success.
Posted in Readathon sponsored read | secondary school | school success stories | England | No Comments