Reading is braw because it works

Reading is Braw is an initiative to get children in Wallyford, Whitecraig and Musselburgh to read more. For 15 weeks starting from 1 March 2016 thousands of school pupils in our three communities will be taking part in a reading challenge. To be successful we will be gathering support from all sections of the community. Why? Because we know it works.

Children are great at copying.
Children are great at copying.

There is now stacks of evidence that children who read for pleasure do better in school and later life. While children are taught reading at school there isn’t always enough time in the school day for them to read whole stories just for the fun of it. But children who do extra reading at break times and out of school give their learning a massive boost. They can end up months and even years ahead of children who don’t read. It also helps them in all subjects because they understand more words. It’s been proven that children read more when they have access to a choice of things to read and encouragement to do it.

It can be difficult to get kids to read when there are so many distractions around. Many children have out of school activities and most now have televisions, computers and other devices all bidding for their spare time.

Reading is Braw hopes to get the community to support the children in their reading. Dunbar Reads Together was the first East Lothian community to test the idea. While the schools were at the heart of Dunbar’s reading challenge the wider community got involved. Cafes had stacks of books for children to read and many people across the community wore lanyards round their necks showing which book they were currently reading. That allowed the children to get talking to different people about books and what’s good about reading. There’s something powerful about the same message coming from someone who isn’t Mum or Teacher. Some folks got totally carried away – including the local Rotary Club which took an inflatable sofa around the town, putting it down anywhere and everywhere to create a comfy space for anyone who felt like a wee read.

All the primaries that send pupils to Ross High in Tranent were the next to take part in a reading challenge. Ross Rocks Reading saw huge improvements in the reading abilities of some of the older primary school children in particular. This shows that when children are given opportunities and encouragement to read they will respondand it will make a difference.

Get in touch if you’d like to get involved and keep reading the blog to find out what’s going to happen in the next exciting chapter of Reading is Braw.

NB: This post was edited to show the project will run for 15 and not 16 weeks as originally stated.

Join us because Reading is Braw

Reading is Braw is a chance for everyone in Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig to show just how much we love and value reading. The aim is to get our children reading more. When children read for pleasure it turbo-charges their learning. Not only do they get better at reading but they also get better at spelling, writing and maths. Yes, that’s right. Reading makes you better at maths! The more you read, the more words you understand so it’s easier to learn in every subjectRI logo oor wullie.

Stories are magic. They can take you anywhere and at any point in time; past, present or future. You can feel what it is like to be someone else. All of that helps children to understand the world better and helps them succeed in school and later life.

Reading is Braw includes a 15 week reading challenge during which children will be encouraged to read more. Thousands of children will be taking part from tiny to teenager. All primary school pupils be given a reading record to keep a note of their reading and after five weeks they’ll be given a lanyard to wear showing what they are currently reading. There will be rewards and encouragement along the way. Our official launch will take place in March and at the end of the 16 weeks there will be a huge celebration.

Parents, carers, family and friends can all help by encouraging the children to read. This blog will be a great place to come if you want help on how and why to get kids reading more. It will also keep you in touch with the many fantastic and fun activities and events the children will be taking part in during the 16 weeks. Some of which we haven’t even dreamt up yet so if you have a good idea get in touch.

We can’t do it alone. It takes a village to raise a child and it will take all of us pulling together to turn all the children in Whitecraig, Wallyford and Musselburgh into readers. We’d love to see local businesses and public buildings supporting Reading is Braw with displays of books and other reading materials – especially in waiting areas. If you see kids with lanyards showing what book they’re reading please ask them about it. See if you can strike up a conversation that gets them reading more. You can have a lanyard to tell the world what you’re reading too. Maybe you’ll be the one to open the book on a whole new adventure for a child.

NB: This post has been edited to show the project will last 15 weeks and not 16 as previously stated.