Wiltshire Council’s year-long campaign involving schools, libraries, and communities to encourage people of all ages to get into reading starts today (27th September 2021).
The Wiltshire Year of Reading aims to encourage everyone from very young children to older adults to enjoy the written word.
All schools in the county are being invited to sign up to a reading awards scheme that enhances reading in each school through a series of achievements to tick off along the way.
The scheme is different for primary and secondary and will feature a range of milestones to reach bronze, silver and gold. Early years settings will also have a range of books to cover to start children learning from an early age.
Schools who achieve the gold award can become ‘beacon reading schools’, sharing their outstanding practice with others. To mark the achievement of each stage, schools will receive certificates.
Libraries will be hosting events throughout the year including, author talks, book festivals, a Harry Potter night and promoting the benefits of library membership.
Early Years settings and children’s centre services will be focussing on a book a month with lots of exciting activities, there will also be the chance to access Bookstart Bookcorner and Early Words Together Groups to support the development of language skills and to encourage an early love of reading.
The Family and Community Learning Team provides learning for families and the wider community and has a range of courses available targeting reading to help people who want to have new skills. For families, the courses can help with learning at home and for the wider community for stepping up skills and into new work. Details of the courses can be found here.
Wiltshire Council is also asking schools and the public to help generate their very own ‘Wiltshire Top 100 Books’ to encourage people to try reading different books. There will be a five book list compiled, four for different school age groups and one for grown-ups. People can suggest their favourite books by clicking here.
Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said, “COVID-19 has had an impact on learning across all year groups and across our communities. As schools work hard to ensure pupils can have a strong education, we want to play our part to encourage children and the wider community to get reading.
“The Wiltshire Year of Reading is a programme that aims to inspire young people to read for pleasure, to enjoy the written word through a host of activities and inspire the wider community to take part too. Reading is essential to everyday life and can open so many doors to learning. It gives us fresh ideas, helps us to understand the world in which we live and supports our mental health and relationships“.