There are a number of opportunities where learners can become involved in events wider than the school community. The benefits of participation are wide ranging and broaden the horizons of both teacher and learner. Some examples and sources of information are listed below.
CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway shadowing scheme
Professors Teresa Cremin and Joan Swann (Open University) have recently completed a commissioned piece of research on examining the impact of participating in a shadowing group has on reading for pleasure. You can read the full report (external link) from CILIP or view a series of case study videos and download the toolkit (external link) from CKG.
Chris Evans: BBC Radio2 – 500 words
This competition is fast becoming the largest collection of children's writing in the UK with over 90,000 contributions. This has led to the involvement of the Oxford Children's Corpus; you can read some of their findings in the 2012 500 words competition (external link).
Teachers can apply to become judges for this competition. The task is not too onerous as you are sent approximately twenty stories which are marked online.
Cardiff Children's Literary Festival and Literature Wales
The Cardiff festival held its inaugural event in 2012 and is sure to offer many opportunities for participation in 2013. Literature Wales (external link) is the national company for the development of literature in Wales. There are a range of competitions, awards and resources for young people.
Blue Peter Book Awards and Reading Champions
The Blue Peter awards are another long established and worthwhile source of current authors and illustrators. The Booktrust also supports research into different reading initiatives including The Letterbox Club which was a project based in Wales. You may find the Booktrust website (external link) a useful starting point for finding research papers.
Another way of promoting wider participation is to engage with the National Literacy Trust's project of establishing reading champions. Information on this scheme can be found on the ’Reading Champions’ section of the Literacy Trust website (external link).
In this sub-topic you have been introduced to some of the current initiatives which promote wider engagement in reading. The benefits of participating in such schemes are research-based and supported by noted academics in the field of educational study. The outcomes of this research show measurable impact on learners' engagement, enjoyment and ability to critically discuss a text.