This is the fourth blog of several with ideas to help schools promote reading for pleasure using the buzz that the Rugby World Cup will bring over the next two months.
It is well-known that one of the key factors that creates children that read for pleasure is their parents. If there is a reading culture at home – if there are books at home – then the child is far more likely to be excited by and confident about reading.
In addition, to involve adults in their child’s learning and reading has a huge impact. On the children – and the parents too.
Here are a few ways that the school can reach out during major rugby tournaments to encourage parents to support their child’s reading.
Employ your Rugby Reading Champions (see earlier blog) to work the playground and engage parents in conversations about their child’s reading. Ask the champions to run a stall with information about what the school is doing to promote reading through rugby. Include a raffle, information sheets, drawing the parents in to finding out more about their child’s reading. Suggest the children drag the parents to the stall.
During the Rugby World Cup set rugby reading homework. Ask the parents – especially dads, maybe – to help their children with it.
The RFU has created a pro-forma letter that schools can adapt and send home to parents. It suggests ways that parents can support their children’s reading during a major sporting tournament like the RBS Six Nations or the Rugby World Cup. It includes ideas like delivering newspapers to children’s doors, great websites to look at together and the best rugby fiction for kids. See http://tompalmer.co.uk/rugby/rugby-literacy.
Family book groups
Many schools run book groups either for the parents or for parents and children together. They are not easy to set up because of adults’ work commitments, but it is worth trying to attract a few parents.
Send a letter home inviting parents to the book group. Sell it as a chance to talk with other parents. Offer tea and biscuits. Plan it for the end of the school day or immediately after the children are dropped off in the morning. Whatever works best for your parents. You could even kick the whole book group idea off with a visiting author.
The school display
If you have created a reading display to tie in with the Rugby World Cup, invite the parents to come along and have a look. They could even contribute to it. If you have included interactive elements in the display, encourage the adults to take part, bringing their children along. And if you can persuade a parents who is into rugby to act as one of your rugby reading champions and contribute to the display, even better.
For more free ideas and resources about using the Rugby World Cup to encourage children to read for pleasure, please visit http://englandrugbyteachersresource.com/putting-it-into-practice/other-subjects/literacy and check out the Read Rugby toolkit. It takes less than a minute to subscribe.