- Because collective action works – from within a school, it’s difficult to get a picture of what’s going on across the country on World Book Day, but even within the school walls, the message sent out by teachers, TAs, children and admin staff coming together to say books are important, is a hugely powerful one. Walking round the classrooms this morning, I heard so many stories being told, stories based on the costumes the children were wearing, stories about stories and books and the sheer volume of conversations can be a powerful tool.
- Because it’s a clear message – everyone getting behind World Book Day shouts out ‘reading matters’ and this is a message we can’t repeat often enough. It’s a message to us as teachers that reading matters, to the children, to the parents and the wider community (the bemused looks on people passing by the children on their way to school this morning can only be a good thing if it gets them talking about what might be going on.
- Because it keeps the conversation going – the reading conversation needs to be constantly restarted and refreshed, reinvented and rehashed, precisely because it is so important. When we talk about books and reading, when we recommend books to others and they discover stories that will stay with them for life, we know the conversation is going in the right direction, but it’s one that needs to continue to happen, over and over, in new inventive ways and in old.
- Because it gets the parents on board – it seems to me one of the holy grails of primary education is parental engagement and the number of parents who have put in time into preparing their children’s costumes, the discussions about books and stories that – by default – had to happen to create the costume of the countless fairytale characters, the servicemen and land girls, the gardeners and spacemen across the country must be huge. Right now, at this moment, they are on board – it’s what you do with the discourse you’ve managed to open up with them now that matters.
- Because books rock.
And if we’re clever about it? We capitalise on the momentum generated by events like World Book Day to improve our children’s reading habits, to increase their love of reading and to improve the reading experience for them.