Alec met Littlecoates staff on 25th September 2019 to plan this exciting venture. The picture below shows Alec with (L–R) Sue Howes, the school’s ‘Story Champion’; Yvonne Hall, Year 6 teacher and literacy lead; and Head Teacher Neville Wilkinson. It was agreed to invite Alec once a term, and the group discussed some of the ways in which his two-year appointment could help the school encourage children to enjoy stories and poems more; to read for pleasure; and to widen their vocabulary. It’s hoped that teachers and children will keep contact with Alec between visits, to exchange ideas about stories and poems, and keep up the profile of reading for pleasure throughout the year. The project will also help teachers to keep abreast of children’s books, and will include a newsletter to parents.
Alec, who’ll be the school’s ‘Reading Friend’, began the project by visiting on 30th September 2019 to mark National Poetry Day – and he was back at Littlecoates on 4th March 2020 to add to the World Book Day celebrations, with stories from around the world. After ‘The Camel’s Nose’ story at assembly, children heard Alec telling stories about a talking pancake, an upside-down bat, a Chinese girl fighting a seven-headed dragon, and two ghost stories (one from the USA and one from Scotland) that made everyone jump!
Alec now has a special ‘Reading Friend’ notice board (see picture below), where visitors to the school library can check out some great stories, and news about the scheme.
Finally, after mentioning stories about being invisible in his last newsletter, a big THANK YOU from Alec to all those children who wrote stories about what they would do if they were invisible. Your amazing ideas certainly made Alec laugh!
During the coronavirus outbreak, Alec has been sending Littlecoates some short videos of stories and poems, that families can use with children at home. Here’s the first video, sent on 21st April, which includes the Chinese story of ‘Ma Liang and the magic paintbrush’, and a poem-writing challenge:
Here’s the 21st May video, which includes an animal story about Anansi the spider, along with some animal poems.
Here’s the 4th June video, one of whose stories features not a milk bottle this time, but a bucket!
The 16th June video features ‘Bunnies on the Bus’, a picture book story, along with the story of ‘Gary the Greatest’, about a fairground weight-lifter.
Copyright © 2020 Alec Williams
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