Inspire Rotherham Activity

It has been quite a couple of weeks, there has been an awful lot of activity relating to the new Inspire Rotherham Project. We have followed up the training and visit to Maltby Manor school with the Rotherham United players with visits to Maltby Crags and Maltby Redwood schools, there are slideshows below.

In the middle of these visits the Inspire Rotherham project was officially launched, see some pictures online. Reading Matters had stall in All Saints Square on 21st March. It was good to be involved, we weren't selling much, just telling people about Reading Matters and sharing the word sheets we had prepared for the partnership with RUFC. It was also the first time our new range of Read Up trading cards got a public outing, all the RUFC players we trained have a card with a mixture of football and reading skills and a few facts. They were hugely popular, and we gave out pretty much our entire stock.

As well as all this we have been running a number of partnerships as part of the Inspire Rotherham pilot in Maltby:
RUFC at Maltby Crags Infant School

RUFC at Matby Readwood School


My presentation - volunteers and the social web

I am currently undertaking a course at Voluntary Action Sheffield, a NOCN Level 3 award in Managing Volunteers, as part of this I am giving a presentation about using web services such as this blog to keep in touch with volunteers. Here are my notes from the presentation, with links to other examples and ideas: volunteers and the social web volunteers and the social web Richard Hanks


Offer for Reading Connects schools

If you work for a school that is a member of Reading Connects you can save £150 on Reading Matters Reading Leaders courses for Key Stage 4/5 students.

Students will be provided with the skills, confidence and resources to mentor younger pupils and achieve an accredited qualification, valuable life skills and volunteering experience as part of the process.

If you book a Reading Leaders training programme before March 31st 2009, the cost of the course for a maximum of 15 participants with this discount will be £750. A saving of £150 on the normal cost.

Book your Reading Leaders course by emailing us at info@readingmatters.org.uk or by calling us on 01274 692219 and quoting NLT/RM.


Rotherham United players visit Maltby Manor Primary School

The players from Rotherham United, trained by Reading Matters, visited their first school, Maltby Manor, on Thursday (12/3/09). They read with six pupils each in a series of reading partnerships. The last sessions parents of the pupils sat in as well.

It was a huge success. The pupils were brilliantly excited, not only about meeting the players, but also about their choice of books. The players were excellent too. I think some were a bit nervous, especially when the parents joined them, but they all took it in their stride and really got stuck in. There was a lovely sound of concentrated reading in the school hall, library and corridors as the players and their partners focused on their books.

As one of the first key activities under the Inspire Rotherham banners the visit created quite a buzz. There were all sorts of people there including Paul Douglas (RUFC Chief Operating Officer) , Joyce Thacker (RMBC Strategic Director Children and Young People's Services) and Ruth Adams (Yorkshire Forward). The press were also in attendance and the day was captured nicely by a report on Look North, look out for the Reading Matters worksheets, which I hope to be able to share online soon!


World Book Day £1 Books

On World Book Day last Thursday 5 March, Reading Matters staff were busy training Rotherham United players to be Reading Mentors, but lots of activities were going on elsewhere for people to get involved with and many are still taking place.

I have just been sent a set of the World Book Day £1 Books, they would be perfect for our reading mentors to use with their partners. My favourite is Mr Gum and the Hound of Lamonic Bibber by Andy Stanton it is absolutely hilarious and I will be checking out other Mr Gum books. The Mr Gum website has had an upgrade for world book day and is well worth checking out.


Training Rotherham United!

We have just completed two days of training with Rotherham United, safe to say I wasn't giving them tips on playing the offside trap, rather they are going to be Reading Matters Reading Mentors as part of the Inspire Rotherham project. It is exciting stuff, and yesterday, 5 March, was especially fun because it was World Book Day.

Next week the players begin attending schools in Maltby as part of the pilot for Inspire Rotherham. We anticipate extending this to other schools in Rotherham after the official launch of Inspire Rotherham on Saturday 21st March.

Reading Matters and Rotherham United will be working together for the launch in Rotherham town centre and at Don Valley Stadium where they will be playing against Chesterfield. We are planing all sorts of activities and resources to engage people to read, should be fun.

We have got a bit of coverage in the press, and hopefully there will be more to come. We were in The Rotherham Advertiser on Friday 6 March and you can read articles in The Star, Press Association and Rotherham Web online.