Reading, Raising, Amazing

Reading, Raising, Amazing: Liverpool schools raise thousands to bring the power of stories to Alder Hey children and school libraries.

A charity sponsored read involving more than 70 schools and 20,000 children across Liverpool has raised some £16k (and counting).Read for Good has been running its read in individual schools since 1984. Last year, the charity teamed up with the Liverpool Learning Partnership to bring the power of its read for the first time to a whole city. Money raised is now being used by school libraries and by the charities to fund their work in Liverpool, including Read for Good’s mobile bookcase and resident storyteller at Alder Hey.

The Liverpool Readathon ran during last year’s inaugural National Libraries Week and the organisers are hoping to make it an annual event.

Read for Good Chief Executive, Justine Daniels said: “The reason we approached Liverpool in the first place torun our first citywide Readathon was because of its reputation as a city of readers. From hot chocolate and book sessions at Holly Lodge school to reading on school trips at Mab Lane, to literally reading the back of cereal packets at St Finbar's and teachers-as-readers at St Clare's, we were blown away by the energy, excitement and the way Liverpool schools embraced our read.”

Children taking part in the event were sponsored to read whatever they like over the course of a week – from comics to classics – with the emphasis on reading what they love. Top children’s author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre visited schools and Central Library to cheer schools on at the midweek point of their Readathon and trainee teachers from John Moore’s University got involved by sharing their love of reading in schools. The event also featured a “DEAR” Liverpool moment, when schools across the city dropped-everything-and-read.

Schools received 20% of whatever they raised to buy books for their libraries, with the rest supporting Liverpool Learning Partnership’s wider work establishing after-school reading for pleasure groups for vulnerable pupils and Read for Good’s unique programme bringing a regular supply of books and storytellers into all of the UK’s main children’s hospitals, including Alder Hey.

The Read for Good bookcase at Alder Hey now bears a dedication to the Liverpool schools who’ve helped fund it. The hospital’s Arts Coordinator, Vicky Charnock said:

“Read for Good’s storyteller and bright-orange mobile bookcase are well-known at AlderHey. We love the loop of children in our schools reading to bring stories into our hospital. Imagination is a ticket out to the wider world when you’re in hospital and the power of stories to entertain, uplift and distract is incredible and something I’ve seen first-hand at Alder Hey from Read for Good’s unique service.”

Project Coordinator for the Liverpool Learning Partnership, Jenny Holder said “Studies have shown that reading for pleasure is more importance to children’s successes than education, economic background and social class. But first you must read! We’re already known as a city of football, music and of culture – and increasingly Liverpool is also becoming known for being a city of avid readers. We loved the buzz around our Readathon.”

Justine concluded: “Our mission as a charity is to motivate children to read for fun – with all the benefits this brings – so for us it’s been extraordinary to see lots of pupils from different schools across Liverpool reading at the same time, united in their shared purpose to get books to Liverpool schools and Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Special mention should be made of Gateacre School, King David Primary School and St Paul’s Catholic Junior who all raised more than £1000. Amazing!”

At Gateacre we raised an amazing £1205.15. During World Book Day in 2017 we also raised £948, so a grand total of £2153.15 in 2017 alone for this brilliant charity!

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