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Reading given a huge boost during Wiltshire Year of Reading

More than 30 schools have so far achieved bronze and silver awards

Published 20 July 2022
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Thousands of children and adults across Wiltshire have been encouraged to delve into books and discover the joy of reading for pleasure during the Wiltshire Year of Reading (WYOR).

Launched in September 2021, the Wiltshire Year of Reading is a year-long campaign involving schools, libraries and communities, that aims to inspire people of all ages to read for pleasure and to enjoy the written word.

Schools across the county were invited to sign up to a reading awards scheme with the aim of enhancing reading in each school and featuring a range of milestones to achieve bronze, silver and gold reading awards. Early years settings also had a range of books to cover to start children learning from an early age.

More than 30 schools have so far achieved bronze and silver awards. 23 primary schools and two secondary schools have achieved the bronze award, and eight primary schools and 1 secondary have achieved the silver award.

Cllr Laura Mayes, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said; "Wiltshire Council is committed to ensuring that all young people get the best start in life, and I am delighted that so many children have been encouraged to read more through this scheme.

"The Covid restrictions and lockdowns over the last few years have had a significant impact on learning across all year groups. As schools work hard to ensure pupils catch up and have a strong education, we have sought to support them through the introduction of the Wiltshire Year of Reading."

Libraries have also played a significant part in the Wiltshire Year of Reading and have been highlighting three favourite, award winning children's authors each month, chosen to inspire and thrill, with book displays in libraries and promoted via social media. They have run social media campaigns to promote library membership, Libraries Week in October, the Winter Mini Reading Challenge, National Storytelling week, Harry Potter Book Night and Empathy Day.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Cabinet Member for Libraries said; "As schools break up for the summer holidays, libraries across the country will be continuing to encourage children to read through the Summer Reading Challenge.

"Our libraries are looking forward to welcoming lots of children during the holidays to take part in this year's Gadgeteers themed Summer Reading Challenge and helping them to keep their reading skills on track and to enjoy reading for pleasure.

"In larger libraries, Children's Champions have been introduced with a member of library staff identified to specifically champion children's reading, services and promotions."

The Wiltshire Council Learning Resources Hub organised a series of very popular author events during the year, as part of the Wiltshire Year of Reading. The events featured authors such as Eileen Browne, author of Handa's Surprise, Guy Bass, author of the best-selling Stitch Head series, Dinking Dings, Spynosaur and Skeleton Keys, award-winning performance poet, author, and playwright Joseph Coelho, who spoke to our KS2 pupils and author and illustrator Chloe Inkpen for our Early Years and Reception children.   

All schools and children being home schooled were invited to attend these events. Around 20,000 children took part in these very entertaining sessions where authors read extracts from their books, showed them how to draw and create their own characters and shared writing tips with the budding young authors listening.

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