As some of you will know from our twitter, @thisisthe_place, that I have been looking at what I can do as a reading lead to create a reading culture within the staff and promote reading for pleasure within my school.
I had my first taste of this on World Book Week. I wanted to do something a little bit out of the box to entice staff to read the texts but also to think about the links and connections I had created. Some were more obvious than others but staff commented that each day they were trying to figure out why the sweet treat and books went hand in hand.
I have a terrible sweet tooth so most of my ideas involve sweets and chocolate, the perfect way to get me to try something! I put out a tweet to see if anyone had ideas about food that linked to books. I wanted to go beyond the obvious, Chocolate for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and introduce staff to some of the new fiction and non-fiction available. For me, we are in the golden age of Children’s literature and I only wish I could be a child again to enjoy them in such a way.
There were some books I absolutely wanted to share but had to be meticulous about how I could link them to a sweet treat. Others felt more natural, like Thomas Taylor’s, ‘Gargantis‘ and ‘Malamander‘, with Lemon Sherbets to represent the character Herbert Lemon. Sherbet Lemons also fit perfectly with ‘Boy at the back of the class’, by Onjali Q Rauf and the rest unraveled from there.
The highlight of the week for me was a member of staff buying ‘Boy at the back of the class’, to read for pleasure. Just one person choosing to pick up a book and get on board the reading for pleasure train is the start of a journey I can’t wait to go on. Staff said they were looking forward to visiting the staff room each day to see what books and treats were there and staff were choosing to read the extracts in their lunchtime – result!
It has sparked a flame in me that I can’t put out and now I want to do more to build on this. I don’t want it to be a flash in the pan and forgotten about. I want to use this as the first step and continue to build. I asked for ideas on Twitter about raising the profile of reading among staff and was bowled over with the ideas and was pleased to connect with others at the same point in their journey. I am already thinking ahead and have something in mind for National poetry day … watch this space for more on that.
Can you find the links between the books and sweet treats?