Get Blackpool Reading from the National Literacy Trust, Blackpool Council and Blackpool Opportunity Area, is collating a list of Blackpool’s favourite children’s stories to encourage reading for pleasure across the town.
Pupils at all 33 primary schools in Blackpool are being asked to nominate their favourite children’s book as part of an initiative from Get Blackpool Reading – a new literacy-focused campaign launching on 25 February.
Blackpool’s 100 Reads is a town-wide activity to motivate more children to enjoy reading and read more widely, by inspiring them to try books that have been recommended by their peers.
Each primary school in Blackpool will receive a pack including teacher top tips to promote the 100 Reads activity in the classroom and a set of postcards where pupils can submit their top three favourite books for the list. The three Blackpool schools that submit the highest number of suggestions will each receive 100 new books each.
Local residents are also invited to share their favourite children’s book through a submission form on the Get Blackpool Reading website, using #GetBlackpoolReading on social media or emailing email@example.com by the deadline of Friday 6 March.
Get Blackpool Reading is a new community-driven campaign led by the National Literacy Trust in partnership with Blackpool Council and the Blackpool Opportunity Area. Officially launching at the end of February, the campaign will work with local partners, schools and businesses to promote reading for pleasure among children and families and give them the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.
It comes as more than half (58%) of disadvantaged 11-year-olds in Blackpool left primary school unable to read well. Just 48% of pupils achieved a grade C or above in both English and maths at GCSE in 2018, compared to the national average of 63%.
The printed Blackpool 100 Reads list will be found in libraries across the town later in the spring in the form of a bespoke height chart. A downloadable version will be available at getblackpoolreading.org.uk.
Paul McNally, Get Blackpool Reading’s Campaign Manager, said: “Creating a list of Blackpool’s top 100 Reads will not only inspire hundreds of local children and families to discover new books, but also create a buzz around the new Get Blackpool Reading campaign and the exciting literacy-focused activities to come. We know that when children choose books to read outside the classroom for just 10 minutes every day, their mental wellbeing improves and they achieve more at school.”
Mark Rayner, Blackpool Opportunity Area Delivery Lead, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the National Literacy Trust as part of the Get Blackpool Reading 100 Reads initiative. Being able to read and communicate well are essential ingredients to doing well in school and preparing for the world of work, and creating a fun and inspiring list will take us one step closer to that goal. We’re looking forward to finding out which stories will be included.”
Cllr Kath Benson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Schools, Education and Aspiration, said: “We welcome any scheme that brings families together and develops a shared love of reading. Ensuring children read, write and count well early is key to their success at school and in life. That’s why it’s really important that we ask families to get involved in this campaign to help instil a love of books from a young age.
“This campaign will help everybody to get in to reading, which is a really important skill, and develop the literacy skills that children need to succeed.”
To find out more about the Get Blackpool Reading campaign, please visit getblackpoolreading.org.uk.