Cultivating a Culture of Reading: Dinner and a Book
This is a Secondary School Learning Goal from the Partnership Schools scheme in the United States.
How do you encourage S1 to S3 pupils to enjoy reading at home?
A junior high school in America decided to use food as a way of attracting families to take part in a special workshop.
The school’s Action Team includes parents, family members, pupils and staff and they organised the Dinner and a Book event to put reading for pleasure in the spotlight. They worked with local supermarkets that provided some of the food and organised a team to do the cooking. Parents and pupils were invited to the school for dinner at 6pm to start a well-planned activity that celebrated reading. After dinner, they were asked to go to different classrooms to attend teacher-led workshops. Teachers spoke about how to make time for reading at home, and how parents and pupils could talk about books and other material they read for fun. They also looked at what literacy skills were required for different areas of the curriculum.
All workshops were designed to encourage discussion and for people to ask questions. Everyone learned and practiced different techniques and tools. The activities were not designed to ask parents to teach reading, but to support the school’s commitment to helping pupils to read more and to strengthen their reading skills and attitudes.
Everyone also learned about various technologies they could use at home to support reading.
This was the first time this event was run and the team identified they would need to involve community partners in future and they plan to schedule the school’s book fair to coincide with the workshops.
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