Patron of Reading
What is a Patron of Reading?
The primary goal of the patron is to promote reading for pleasure, to encourage, inspire and develop a love of books, words and stories.
A Patron of Reading is an author, poet, storyteller or illustrator who works closely with a school over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school: storytelling sessions, book quizzes, blogs, book recommendations, discussions, writing workshops, drama workshops, poetry bashes, blogs, book trailers and visits. The possibilities are virtually endless. The tenure can last from 1 - 3 years. First mooted by head teacher Tim Redgrave, the idea has now spread to almost 200 schools across the British Isles.
What can a Patron of Reading offer?
A few examples of Patron of Reading ideas and suggestions as well as a few ideas related to myself and my books:
- An introduction author visit;
- The background to the story books and the real Playbus.
- Book reading
- Question and answer session.
- Visits to the school over the course of the academic year.
- These visits could include read aloud sessions, storytelling sessions or other activities. (Bus design workshop both 2D and 3D; badgemaking)
- Send a newsletter once per term.
- Donate copies of books to the school library.
- Work with specific groups to encourage reading.
- Champion Reading challenges and present awards/certificates for such activities.
- Tweet, blog and Facebook about the visits to the schools.
- Recommend books for specific topics/themes.
- Ask children and staff for their book recommendations.
- Attend school events.
- Encourage reading for pleasure across the school.
I have undertaken many author visits and have found that the children are often inspired to read and write following the visit. Most of all children like knowing the author is real and that they can speak to them in person.
Although a one-off author visit is great it is good to develop a relationship with a school staff, pupils and parents.
Sue Wickstead - Patron of Reading .
Sue Wickstead is a trained teacher and has written eight children’s story books to date. The books have all received 5-star awards from ‘Readers Favourite’. She was initially involved in a playbus charity and left full time teaching to write the photographic history book about the playbus itself. This led to many questions from the children that she met asking what the playbus did and how was it different to any other ordinary bus. This led to telling stories and eventually the fictional tale was written. JJK261 was the real bus and gave the bus the name Jay-Jay. Sue has written three other adventures for Jay-Jay as well as a Spooky Tale for younger readers. Sue has visited many schools across Sussex and Surrey, both as a cover teacher as well as an author. The children love knowing where the inspiration for the stories come from and are fascinated to hear both the factual and fictional background to her writing. She would love to share her enthusiasm and become a patron in Sussex or Surrey.