Local Literature

Continuing last month’s focus on literacy, down the road from the W&P offices, the picturesque town of Ilkley, play host to their increasingly popular literature festival. The venue was the elegant Victorian theatre and I sat in the audience…

“What can I do to support my child who wants to be a budding author?” was one of the questions asked of Lauren Child, award winning author and Illustrator of Charlie and Lola and Ruby Redfort – an undercover agent, code-cracker and thirteen year old genius.

“Read, everything you can, by yourself and with your child,” enthused Lauren, “Visit exhibitions, see art, learn and continue learning”

Never before has this been more achievable both inside and outside of school. Literature festivals, local libraries and exhibitions throughout the UK, open their arms to audiences seeking to ‘learn everything they can’. In education, creative approaches to learning encourage pupils to be questioning, imaginative and open to possibilities, and to reflect critically on the effect of ideas and actions.

In the numerous articles written on phonics and literacy the main message comes through loud and clear, children must learn to love reading not just learn to read. According to the findings in the 2011 report by the National Literacy Trust, 50% of young people enjoy reading either “very much” or “quite a lot”; 10% of young people do not enjoy reading at all and 38% only enjoy reading “a bit”.

Real reading ability is the result of actual reading, especially of books that readers find interesting. Avid readers eventually acquire nearly all the rules of phonics and spelling, as a result of reading.
Stephen Krashen
Professor emeritus, University of Southern California

Developing and continuing a passion for reading and learning takes time and effort, but is a skill that will be well rewarded in the long run. Perhaps Lauren’s description of her teenage heroine, Ruby Redfort could be your inspiration ‘She’s brave, she’s determined and she knows the rules of survival…’



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