Watch highlights from our launch day

We did it! Reading is Braw has officially launched and you can see some of the highlights of the day in this video from David Gilmour (digital wizard with East Lothian Council’s schools service).

You will see children reading here, there and everywhere.

You will hear Lindsey Barley reveal the single most important life-skill we can teach our children. (Clue: it starts with the letter r…)

You will hear children light up the screen with their love of stories.

If it inspires you to read or to read to a child let us know which story you went for.

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.

Get Taylor Swift to promote reading to your kids

Children do better when they read more. Encouraging them to read boils down to this.

1. make sure they have lots they can choose to read

2. make sure they have time they can read

3. read to them until they are shooing you out of the room (NB they may do this subtly with their taste in music)

4. talk to them about reading.

5. stage a takeover of everything that isn’t reading until they have watched Taylor Swift talking about reading in this half hour video from Scholastic.

Only nine sleeps now until the big launch of Reading is Braw. Oh, who am I kidding, you’re all bopping away to Shake it Off now, aren’t you?

The book most travelled

It’s getting exciting here at Reading is Braw HQ as we gear up to our 1st March official launch.RI logo oor wullie

Children do better when they read more. Having access to a choice of things to read and opportunities to read makes it so much more likely that they will read. We’ll share dozens of ideas for creating excitement around books in the coming weeks, for now though here is just one.

Groups taking part in Reading is Braw will be leaving books in public places where someone can pick them up, read them and then share them again. Inside we’ll leave a message encouraging people to read the book and pass it on. We’ll also ask them to let us know where the book has gone by commenting on this blog or by tweeting us at our Twitter account @reading_is_braw.

Already one book as been taken to New York, USA and we are all hoping it is found by someone who will get in touch.

So, if you see a book around Wallyford, Whitecraig or Musselburgh feel free to send it on an adventure – but don’t forget to read it first!

Local businesses invited to show support

Local businesses are being asked to show their support for Reading is Braw – an initiative to get children reading more. Due to launch on Tuesday 1 March, Reading is Braw will run for 15 weeks in Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig. Thousands of local children will take part in a challenge designed to get them to read more often because it boosts their learning and is a good sign of future success.WEBBacktoBackFBPostSize

The team behind the initiative includes schools, nurseries, libraries, community learning and parents. It’s now reaching out to businesses for help by either showing their support on their premises or by donating money. The funds will be used to help pay for visits by children’s authors and for school trips carefully designed to motivate kids to read.

As part of the challenge children will be wearing lanyards with a space for them to write the name of the book they are currently reading. The aim is to spark positive conversations between the children and others about reading. Businesses can show support by having their staff wear lanyards and by displaying posters.

Musselburgh Burgh Primary deputy head teacher Lindsey Barley is leading the project. She said: “I’ve already worked on reading initiatives in Dunbar and in the Tranent area and the support of businesses and the wider community has a massive impact on the success. Children love seeing adults taking part in their projects. They expect their teachers and their parents to tell them to read but when people out in the community are also talking about reading it suddenly has more impact.”

If you want to show your support for the project get in touch by emailing:

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.