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.
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.