Friday, 7 February 2014

Quick Reads: An Open Book

This brilliant short film made by Quick Reads sums up in 5 minutes what I've been shouting from the roof tops for years.

Adult literacy has been swept under the carpet for far too long now. I see it every day-kids desperate to learn but with parents so scared and unsure of their abilities that they avoid reading with their children. We are so pushy about 'daily reading' and reaching those targets, yet when that child who reads once a term is confronted about the lack of entries in their reading records, the question is always "Why didn't you read?" never "Does Mummy/Daddy read to you?"

Those adults who find it hard to teach their children are reluctant to step into in a Waterstones to just 'browse', nor are they breaking down the door of their local library.  Slap a print out of learning objectives, or Gove's latest educational ligature in front of someone who is unsure and you'll send them further into their shells. But...set up a small, informal book club just for the adults to enable them to build up confidence, share their concerns and experience the sheer joy of reading and then send those parents out to share it with the child.

And this is where the brilliant Quick Reads scheme comes in. They commission short novels (by established, big name authors) that are easy to get into taking away that feeling of  intimidation that reluctant readers are often faced with. The books are perfect for little book clubs, ideal for annotating and the accompanying resources (bookmarks, posters) aid that feeling of involvement in a club without the childish feeling of 'school'.

"Get the adult. Get the child." has long been my mantra.

And I'll be shouting it until I'm hoarse.