It looks like 'The story gift scheme' sessions are a big hit with the kids in the Primary and Secondary schools in East Bergholt and they will continue for another term!
The feedback from the Primary school children was amazing with so many positive quotes. They love being read to by the Senior school students and love the stories being read to them. (They cited 'I want a Hippo' as one of their fav's'!) They wanted more and more stories!
So now all of the children who don't get that story conversation at home will now get it in school. We (the adults) have been overwhelmed but the positive response and outcome of the scheme. The primary school children are apparently really excited each week on a Wednesday because a Wednesday is the story day!
So now comes the logistics of recording what these two amazingly advanced thinking schools have created. This means writing the whole project up as a 'How to...' for other schools pointing out that all schools are different and can tailor the Story Gift Scheme to suit their own needs. When we have something written down then this can be a template for other schools to get involved and each school that does will have children benefiting from this amazing thing.
At the moment this feels a bit like a hidden magical thing is being created by two schools that could, when properly reaveled to ther schools be of huge benefit to all those participating.
After a great Easter weekend on the cheap we come to Sunday evening and winding down time. The girls read to us after teatime and we then read to them but I had to ask "You are 10 and 13 years old so clearly we are not reading to each other to improve your literacy skills or improve your comprehension of the world, so why do we still read to each other girls?
Sarah said that for her she loved us reading to her so that she could leave this world for a while and disappear into the world we were describing and that she loved reading to us because she could act out the characters.
Rachel enjoys us reading to her because she doesn't have to think about anything, she can just relax and not solve any problems. She likes reading to us because she likes being the characters and feeling their feelings because if they are happy about something, I'm happy about that and is they are angry about something it makes me wonder why they are angry about that and I get angry for and with them somehow.
Reading every night with your kids is just so beneficial in so many ways.
Last week Tom Carson and I went to the Iceni school to interview children and Teachers about the books and about the Author visit that I do and we had a wonderful response as you can see from the first page of the website. It is something that will help me to advertise my availability to other schools which is great but also raises the profile of the Story Gift Scheme for when I can begin to promote that. My aim is for every child in the country to have a story time in schools and having those stories read to them by Year 9's of the nearest Senior school. The pilot is going incredibly well. Another two Yr 9's get to hone their story telling skills tomorrow and years 1 & 2 get to grill the story tellers!
My aim in these workshops is to make it easier for children to understand how to write a story. So D J Cattrell is not just about books but about giving kids practical easy structures to understand all aspects of stories and how important they are in life from newspaper articles to Greek Myths around television programmes and over the hill of history. Stories are what we are, how we remember our world and how we make sense of it.
Wednesday 17th August 2016