Reading for pleasure
Every March, to coincide with World Book Day, pupils at Deer Park take part in sponsored Readathons over two days to raise money for Read for Good, the charity which provides brand new books and storyteller visits to children in hospitals around the UK.
On World Book Day itself, Thursday 5 March 2020, we held two two-hour Year 7 Readathons, followed by an all day Readathon on Friday 6 March for pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10.
After a few weeks of raising sponsorships from friends and family, pupils come along to The PLC (our library) straight after registration, making themselves comfortable on chairs or beanbags, and settle down to read. Pupils are regularly refuelled with hot chocolate by our Librarians, Mrs Bond and Mrs Hill, and apart from answering the all-important questions: “Would you like cream and marshmallows with that? And a biscuit?” the participants carry on with the all-important business of the day: reading.
"It was really fun. I love reading and wish we could do it every week." Lizzie (Year 7)
"The Readathon was a really good opportunity to just read and for such a good cause. Not to mention the fabulous hot chocolate!" Andrew (Year 9)
"I enjoyed the Readathon because I could escape with a book all day. It was fun and there was a nice atmosphere." Freya (Year 9)
"I really liked how quiet it was. It's nice to have the time to just read and not worry about the time." Phoebe (Year 8)
Mrs Hill says “It is always interesting to see the different genres of books being read and a pleasure to see so many pupils concentrating and enjoying their reading, whilst raising money for such a good cause.” Read for Good’s vision is for all children in the UK to be given the opportunity, space and motivation to develop their own love of reading, benefiting them throughout their lives – for good. The money raised for Read for Good brings the power of stories to children in hospital via mobile bookcases and resident storytellers over the UK. So not only do our young people have an enjoyable day of reading, they also help other young people at the same time, and earn the school a book voucher worth 20% of the total raised to buy new books for the library.
As a school, we are very proud to have run thirteen Readathon events since 1995 and have been officially named as an Outstanding Readathon School, one of only a handful in the country to have shown such commitment to the charity. What an honour!
Reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background and we encourage all our pupils to read for at least 20 minutes each day. Sometimes it can be a challenge to find time or a quiet space to read, but we would encourage everyone, of any age, to persevere. During the Readathons, pupils have the opportunity to switch off from the normal school day and really immerse themselves in reading an enjoyable book (or two), and at the same time be helping those less fortunate than ourselves. What could be better?
Mrs Hill, Librarian
Our staff have been sharing their current reads on a display outside the Main Hall to encourage reading and discussion about books and authors. Current books include:
Emma by Jane Austen
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
The New Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Heroes by Stephen Fry
The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Frostheart by Jamie Littler
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe.
A recent favourite book for many of us is Charlie Mackesy's thoughtful and beautifully illustrated 'The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse' - if you have not yet seen it, we do recommend it for all ages. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" "Kind."