Scottish Book Trust is delivering the First Minister’s Reading Challenge on behalf of the Scottish Government. The Challenge is targeted at Primary 4 – 7 pupils in all primary schools in Scotland, providing resources to help children develop a love of reading and to support schools to develop reading cultures. Research tells us that reading for enjoyment in childhood leads to a number of lifelong benefits, as well as improvements in attainment. Scottish Book Trust hope this exciting programme will inspire children, teachers, parents and others to develop a love of reading that lasts a lifetime.
Our Falkirk Representative, Margaret Leitch, is part of an Advisory Group who are working closely with Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Government, giving advice on the details of the programme and on its long-term ambitions. Representatives from the education, library, publishing, bookseller and author communities are represented on the Advisory Group, ensuring its advice brings a breadth of expertise.
The programme launches today, the 1 September 2016. A new website has opened, https://www.readingchallenge.scot, allowing schools to register for the Reading Challenge and access a range of inspiring resources as well as order Reading Passports for everyone taking part. As part of the Reading Challenge, schools and pupils will be able to enter for the chance to win a range of awards focused on building reading cultures and providing creative responses to reading journeys. The importance of partnerships will also be recognised by an award and we will provide resources for teachers and librarians to support children to set and achieve their own personal reading challenges.
In partnership with ‘The List’ magazine, SBT created a book called ‘100 Places to Start Your Reading Journey’. This book contains 100 carefully selected children’s books, each with a further two recommendations. The collection represents a wide range of children’s titles, including non-fiction, poetry and graphic novels. The titles have been selected by a panel of experts, including teachers, librarians and booksellers, and are intended to be inspiration to children, parents and teachers to get involved. These titles are neither prescriptive nor mandatory reading and do not need to be voted on. The book will be distributed to schools and libraries across Scotland as well as sent to ‘The List’ subscribers. As well as our suggestions, we also encourage everyone to send us their own book lists which will be published on our website.
The First Minister’s Reading Challenge will run from September 2016 until May 2017 and there will be a celebration event in June 2017, where prizes will be awarded and good practice from across the country showcased.