Sunday, 14 June 2015

My First Year as Patron of Reading by Karen King

Like most authors of children’s books, I like to encourage children to read and write so was delighted when I was asked to be Patron of Reading at Blessed Edward Catholic College in Worcester in September 2014. I know many other Sassie authors are PORs too, and I’m sure like me they’ve found it a rewarding experience. If you don’t know about the Patron of Reading scheme you can find out more about it here:

For those of you who are thinking about being a Patron of Reading but are a bit unsure about what it entails I thought I’d tell you about my first year.  It’s a fairly new scheme with no real hard and set rules, so I wasn’t sure what to do but both myself and the librarian of the school, Linda Bromyard, shared the same objective, to encourage the students to read. We wanted to get across the message that reading should be fun, if you weren’t enjoying the book then you were reading the wrong book. And that reading wasn’t just novels, it was magazines, comics, joke books, non-fiction books.  We just wanted the kids to read and to enjoy reading. This poster just about sums up our thoughts.


We started off by holding book review competitions offering books as a prize. I dedicated a page of my website to the reviews and both Linda and I were delighted with the quantity and quality of the reviews. We designed a certificate to award to the winners and I popped into assembly to present them.  We also encouraged the students to take part in the Read For My School competition and were delighted when the school was one of only three in England to win the £250 prize.

For the next term we decided to hold a ‘design a bookmark’ competition related to the theme of reading.  Bookmarks came pouring in. The standard was amazing and we ended up choosing three winners and eight runners up with a special award for one of the teachers who had entered too. Here are the winning bookmarks.

Isabelle Cavaciuti 9L                           Leo Carl Abad 9A                   Elena Davison 9L

For the final term we thought we’d run a joke competition. Jokes are pouring in every day - and I'm delighted to see the teachers getting involved!  Linda and I will choose the winner(s) at the end of June.  It’s been an amazing year and the support from the Linda, the staff and pupils has been very encouraging.
 I’ve really enjoyed working with the students this year and look forward to my next two years. So if you’ve been asked to be Patron of Reading, or are thinking about being one then don’t hesitate. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
Linda and I will get together in the school holidays and think of more ideas to encourage reading for the next school year. If you have any ideas  of what we could do we’d love to hear them.
Karen King writes all sorts of books. Check out her website for details.


Sheena Wilkinson said...

Lovely post. I've also just finished my first year as PoR -- the first in Ireland. It was a school with which I already had a relationship, and it's been great. They're hosting my next book launch, which is making all of us very excited. You're right: it's a wonderful initiative and I'd recommend anyone to do it.

Joan Lennon said...

It's an excellent initiative, and my school - Queensferry Primary School - is AMAZING!

Anonymous said...

As soon as I heard about the Patron of Reading scheme, I knew I wanted to be part of it, and so glad I did! I have an excellent partnership with Karen, we are both keen to get more students reading more! Encouraging the less willing readers and expanding the already converted! It does not matter what they read, just as long as they do! Reading for pleasure is just that, no compulsory reviews to write, no essays, no debates, just reading! Though of course, Karen and I always welcome reviews and who can help themselves when it comes to discussing good books that we have read!

The students have been excellent is embracing Karen's role as PofR, and look forward to her frequent visits, when she pops in to give out certificates, or for a talk. the scheme has definitely benefited them

Karen is superb PofR, I couldn't ask for better, and look forward to seeing what the next 12 months brings, I am sure it will be just as exciting!

May I take this opportunity to say a very big thank you, Karen.

Karen said...

Thank you, Linda. :)