My Benches

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Chorleywood enjoys the BookBenches this summer!

Friday the 17th October, 2014

We had a fantastic summer of Books about Town, and we love to hear your stories about how you have enjoyed the BookBenches this summer. We’ve received lovely feedback from teachers, librarians and parents who have been inspired by the BookBenches to create fun projects to inspire children to love reading. 

We recently received a fantastic email from Jane Broadis, a teacher at Christ Church School in Chorleywood, about a fantastic BookBench project that she ran this summer. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did.

Dear Books about Town, 

As a primary school teacher and literacy coordinator I am always racking my brains as to how I can encourage more children to love books and love reading, so when I first saw news of the benches coming to the streets of London I just had to encourage my pupils to go and see them.  Christ Church School in Chorleywood is only 25 miles from central London and an easy trip on the Metropolitan Line.   I decided to encourage children to make the journey by having a competition where the most popular photo, as voted by children at school, won a prize.  Our local bookshop - the Chorleywood Bookshop - came on board immediately by offering us a book token for the winner and our local magazine - Chorleywood Magazine - jumped at the opportunity to advertise our competition and print the winning picture. See it here http://chorleywoodmagazine.co.uk/bench-mark/  

During the summer holidays I was emailed pictures from across the school community and by the start of term I had made a noticeboard displaying all 63 entries - representing a quarter of the children at school! We have very supportive parents who were delighted to be given a fun idea for a day out in London which involved their children walking and learning more about books and authors!

Votes were cast and at the end of the first full week of term a winner was announced - Alfie in Reception - with a photo of him sitting on a pile of his siblings: George, Will and Nancy, by the Dr Seuss bench, reading his favourite book, 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'.

For me, my favourite was the War Horse bench.  Somehow the cavalry charge in black and white, separated with barbed wire from the blood splattered poppies in the foreground were perfect images to reflect the horrors of war encapsulated in Morpurgo's book. 

Through 'Books About Town', I think the National Literacy Trust created a brilliant analogy for 'getting into reading' by encouraging people to actually sit amongst the pages of life-sized books, surrounded by characters and scenes from various works. You gave me a wonderful opportunity to remind my pupils that books are important and reading is fun.  I couldn't have hoped for a better project to help me get that message across.  Thank you!

If you have more stories about how your school has used Books about Town in the classroom then please do tell us about them. We love hearing them!

Please do keep sending us your stories about the BookBenches and register with us to receive news of other exciting events by emailing liam.johnson@literacytrust.org.uk.

If you loved Books about Town and would like to support the National Literacy Trust to raise literacy levels in disadvantaged communities in the UK, you can do so with a simple text donation.

Just £3 can help us buy a child their first book.

Text BOOK34 £3 to 70070 to help us spread the love of reading to more children across the UK.