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Wellbeing Wednesday - World Book Day: Reading for Pleasure

01 Mar 2023


Reading for pleasure enables young people to develop better problem-solving skills and greater empathy, giving them improved relationships with others.

At Ecole Jacques Prévert and in over 100 countries around the globe, we will celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 2nd March to emphasise the importance of reading for pleasure and the love of books. All the children will take part in special activities throughout the day and everyone (both children and staff!) have been invited to come dressed up as their favourite storybook character. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.
Never has the mental health and wellbeing of children been tested to such a degree as it has over the last 3 years. There is no single, quick-fix solution for what is a society-wide problem. However, there are small things we can do to improve our wellbeing and that of the children we work with. The benefits of physical activity, spending time in nature, and practising mindfulness have all been extolled during the lockdowns. Another simple activity which confers benefits on our wellbeing is reading. Reading for as little as six minutes a day can cut a person’s stress levels considerably and children who enjoy reading and writing have significantly better mental wellbeing than their peers.

How can we encourage reading for pleasure?

Here are three quick ideas you might be able to try:

Let Them Choose
Children need to choose what they read and have access to a diverse range of books so they can find something that interests them and aligns with their reading ability. Supporting that choice is also essential; talk to your child about their interests and help them make an informed choice.

Make time for reading
Having a regular time for the children to read for pleasure each day is essential. Encouraging regular reading can be an excellent way to develop positive reading habits.

Digital Books are Still Books
We can sometimes have a set idea of what reading looks like (mine? Big armchair, a hot mug of coffee and a coloured paperback novel), but that might not chime with your children. E-books offer the same benefits as a physical book but might be easier to access or feel more relevant for young readers. Audiobooks can be a great resource, too, especially for reluctant readers.

World Book Day makes a difference:
  • Research found that 96.9% of children have heard of World Book Day and children who participate in World Book Day activities are more engaged in reading and books than those who don’t,
  • 70% of early years settings and 77% primary schools said World Book Day is effective in fostering a reading for pleasure culture,
  • 59% of primary school children find reading more fun as a result of World Book Day.
We are looking forward to celebrating this special occasion on Thursday 2nd March and have the school filled up with lots of different storybook characters. Can the children guess who their teachers are going to dress as?

Best wishes,
Mrs Weber

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