Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
Booktime Promotes Social Responsibility by the Book
Inspiring children to read is one of the greatest gifts that parents and educators can give to the younger generation. Research suggests that the habit of reading equals to a full year's advantage at school and casual observation seems to confirm that those who read gain more general knowledge and express themselves better, besides having all the fun that reading provides.
That's why Booktime, a UK charity that works to develop a taste for reading in school children, is dedicated to the cause. The program, which has arrived at its seventh year, has gifted more than nine million books since it was launched in 2006. Recently, it launched its 2012 edition, when it will be distributing 1.45 million books to 731,000 children in their first year of school.
For the launch, the organization put together a fun-packed event in London, UK, when actress Tamsin Greig, who appeared in the BBC'2's "Episodes" series, read from The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit to 30 primary school children at The Cathedral School of St Saviour and St Mary Overy primary school in Southwark.
Children in England will receive their book packs this autumn term, containing The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit, published by Frederick Warne & Co., an imprint of Penguin Children's, and Tim's Din, from the Phonics Bug series by Pearson. In the spring of 2013 children in reception class in Wales, starting their journey through the Foundation Phase, will receive their own Amser Llyfr /Booktime book packs. The free books for four to five year-olds in Wales are The Tale of a Naughty Little Rabbit and T? Bach Twt i Miss Trwyn Smwt, by Petr Horácek.
The specially commissioned Welsh edition of Horácek's picture book is published by Rily and has been adapted by poet Mererid Hopwood. With the support of the Welsh Government, this will be the first time the free books program has delivered books to every four to five year-old in maintained schools in Wales. The program will support one of the Welsh Government's key priorities of raising literacy standards in Wales.
Part of Booktime's ethos is to encourage families to read aloud together. And there's a good reason for that, besides all the fun: "Reading aloud is pouring sounds, syllables, endings and blendings that make up words-right into the child's ear. Inside the ear rests the 'listening vocabulary', a part of the brain where we store language. If you pour enough words into the listening vocabulary, it spills into the other three vocabulary pools: speaking, reading, and writing. And that explains why the children who have heard the most words succeed the most in school," said author Jim Trelease, who has written extensively about the importance of shared reading in his best-selling book, The Read Aloud Handbook.
Another program aimed at Year 5 and 6 pupils puts the focus on reading for pleasure. Read for My School is accessible to schools in England and is the new national schools reading competition from The Pearson Foundation and Booktrust, with support from the Department for Education. The program is free to all primary schools in the country and will give children aged nine to 11 the opportunity to earn rewards for themselves and their schools through reading.
Image credit: Booktime