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Photographs from the celebration

Thank you Stacey Russell, Karen Fleming and all the others who helped make the celebration such a fun event. Get in touch if you would like to share your photos or post them on our FB page.

Switch off and Read Week.


It’s time to Soar – Switch off and read. Fear not, we are not suggesting you throw away your television or dispatch your ipad. Just spend less time with the tech and more time with a book, magazine or newspaper. To make things easier we’ve got some places you can go and things you can do while you enjoy reading – all of them unplugged!

School time sessions are pupils only – others are open to the wider community.

Calendar covers Tuesday 31 May to Sunday 5th June


There’s a book breakfast at Stoneyhill Primary School.

Author Barry Hutchison is visiting Loretto R.C. Primary School.

Wallyford Library Bookbug session takes place at 2pm.

Between 2 and 5pm the Burgh Cafe are offering free cake with a drink if you go in for a read.


The Tolbooth Cafe is offering a free biscuit for readers Wednesday and Thursday.


10.30 Musselburgh library bookbug session.

Musselburgh Burgh Primary will be reading in the playground.

3.50 at Wallyford Library there are ‘stories for big yins.

4pm at Musselburgh Library ‘make a book mark’.

There’s a pop up library at Lewisvale Park 3-4.30pm


11.00-1.00 it’s story time at Musselburgh Burgh School Fair

12.30-2.30 bring your own picnic and a book to Lewisvale and visit our Pop up library and take part in a ‘word hunt’.


10.30 Musselburgh library bookbug

4.00pm Musselburgh Library stories


12.30 to 2.30 Fisherrow Harbour Beach – you bring a book and a picnic and The Quayside will provide light refreshments.

All this week until Sunday 5th if you buy a drink at Costa they will upgrade it to the next size up if you show them a lanyard.  Lanyards are available via schools and other participating groups.

Now: take off!


Guest post – Jane Shepherd community champion at Tesco

tesco trio
Jane and colleagues prove Reading is Braw

My name is Jane Shepherd and I work part time as Community Champion and Farm to Fork Trail Guide at Tesco Extra Musselburgh. I also work part time for Midlothian Council as Adult Education Tutor.
In my spare time I volunteer with a local Lifesaving Club and as Secretary for the Royal Lifesaving Society Scottish Region.
I have two boys aged 19 and 14 and have always encouraged them to be interested in reading anything, from fiction and non fiction to magazines and news articles. We always have books and magazines laying around the house to just pick up and browse through and often chat about what we have been reading around the dinner table.
I think that Reading Is Braw is a really valuable community project. I believe that it is important for the whole family to be involved in reading. Reading helps to give people an understanding of the world around us and helps us to develop ideas and thoughts of our own.
I was given The Life of Pi book for World Book Night four years ago and I initially found it a real chore to read. I was so pleased with myself that I persevered and finished the book, it was a fabulously inspiring story in the end.
Ever since then, I have volunteered as a book giver for World Book Night, where I have had the opportunity to give books to adults who are reluctant readers. Often citing that they are too busy and don’t have time to pick up a book.
I find that picking up a book is the ideal stress reliever – and can’t wait for some ‘Me Time’ with a good book.
I am currently reading The Hairy Bikers – Blood Sweat and Tyres. The next book I plan to read is The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz (the next in the Millenium Series of books by Stieg Larsson).

New guess the teacher comp at Loretto RC

Loretto RC primary school in Musselburgh has launched a competition for pupils that calls for the finest detective skills.

As part of Reading is Braw, members of staff have chosen their favourite book. Miss O’ Regan has mixed them all up and wants pupils to match the book to the teacher. How will they solve the puzzle? Will they grill their teachers on what they like to read? Will friends team up like “The Famous Five” to solve it together? The competition closes on 21st March and the winner receives 50 house points!

This is the second of two activities started at Loretto for the reading initiative. The first, a “Non Fiction Book Drive” has seen children from across the school bring in some non fiction books. Over the next few weeks, various competitions will be held. It is hoped that some children will participate in a non fiction scavenger hunt. There’s still time to bring in a non fiction book so pupils who haven’t yet done so needn’t worry. loretto rc march 9 loretto rc non fic book drive mar 9

Children do better when they read more and reluctant readers often just haven’t found the right writing yet. Non fiction, comics and magazines are all great ways to practice reading which helps children get more out of school.

Guest post – Chris Knights

We’re looking for everyone in Musselburgh to join Reading is Braw so we can spread the message that children do better when they read more. Today’s guest post comes from Chris Knights, Church and Community Development Worker, Musselburgh Parish Grouping, Church of Scotland.

The churches in Musselburgh are delighted to be part of Reading is Braw. For Churches and Christians, reading one particular book is extremely important. That book is the Bible. It is the Holy Book for Christians. Through the Bible, we believe that we find out the most about God, about Jesus, about ourselves, about God’s love for the world and about how to follow Jesus in our daily lives. Services of Worship in most of our Churches always include readings from the Bible, and Church members are encouraged to read the Bible for themselves and to join Bible Study Groups. So reading books is very important to us! The Churches will be taking part in the Launch Event on 1st March. At 11am, in the grounds of St Andrew’s High Church, on Musselburgh High Street (between B & M and Hydra), we will have a display of Bibles and of Bible story books, and will be dramatically presenting some well-known passages from the Bible. We will also be giving away free extracts from the Bible, in forms suitable both for adults and children. Come and join us!

Thanks Chris. We’ll hear from other groups taking part in Reading is Braw in the coming days and weeks.

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.