We are a few days into Reading Week on BBC4. The items I have seen so far have been excellent, and it is worth tuning in if only to catch the repeats of the Picture Book series which I loved.
Michael Rosen presented a programme called Just Read, where he converted a nice normal school into a real reading factory, he didn't mention this when I met Michael a few weeks ago, must have been under an embargo! I don't watch a lot of these sorts of programmes, a few weeks ago I did see Gordon Ramsey use a record number of expletives to renovate a local Sheffield eatery. Michael Rosen's programme was in contrast, a joy to watch. The school staff were very receptive to ideas and parents and children really got stuck in, creating a real community of readers. We obviously don't have the dramatic time-period or celebrity drive, but Reading Matters is very much about instituting the sort of changes Michael was advocating.
Last night was a programme called Why Reading Matters (great title!) This was a scientific insight into how and why we read. The main message for me was that reading is not a 'hard-wired' instinctive behaviour, but one we must all must learn for ourselves. For me this indicated why we must let no child struggle with their reading, and in fact because our brains actually physically grow as we read you could argue a non-reading child's development will be severely inhibited.
[picture credit - kennymatic]