route_offlineQ: That’s a fantastic idea. Your biography outlines that reading development is one of your current roles, to promote reading for pleasure for children in care. How does this work?

A: Being the Reader in Residence for children in care in Dorset is a wonderful job. Many looked-after children have come from difficult and chaotic backgrounds and have missed out on the pleasure of books and reading as a consequence.  There have been several studies proving that children in care often under achieve academically. Of course, there are many reasons for this, but one factor could be missing out on being read to as a small child or getting the library habit or understanding how to ‘use’ books.

The Reader in Residence posts are funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation who recognise this shortfall of experience and have attempted to address it by employing Readers in Residence across the country. The main aim of the post is to promote reading for pleasure. It is absolutely NOT about reading targets, reading ages, comprehension or anything else that requires tests and measuring.

The idea of the post is promote a love of reading and trying to get kids hooked into books they like, rather than being made to read at school. I work with older children (9-16) and try to find a way in though exposure to as many different types of books and reading experiences as possible. This includes visits to libraries, author talks and visiting looked after children in their foster homes or children’s homes and bringing a huge variety of books for them to choose from.

Dog Days features in Route Offline

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