Reading Activists creates reading and writing opportunities for young people aged 11 – 19. It gives young people the opportunity to shape local services, volunteer, gain valuable work experience and learn new skills. It’s a project for young people, by young people. Reading Activists has become the umbrella name for the library sector’s youth innovation work with young people, endorsed by the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) and Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL).
Please reference local strategic documents. Positive for Youth brings together all of the Government’s policies for young people aged 13 to 19. Please find more information here: http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/youngpeople/Positive%20for%20Youth
Please include all young people projects and opportunities in all your libraries, plus any photos. Emphasise that Reading Activists covers all work with young people in all your libraries, and contributes to your local targets (which you may wish to include). This includes projects which may have local names e.g. Our Say Birtley (Reading Activists in Gateshead library). Invite discussion, if necessary, about what work is being done that can be included. Remember, Reading Activists can be: Summer Reading Challenge volunteers World Book Night Givers Reading Activists planning groups Reading and writing group members Other volunteers e.g. HeadSpace volunteers
Please add or replace with a local case study if you prefer
Invite discussion about how you can reach more young people to help meet Big Lottery targets. Here are things that young people can do which you may want to discuss Plan and organise events/activities for other young people Build props and decorations Market the library Create reading and writing groups Design publicity Choose stock Write book reviews and blogs Create a library newsletter Interview authors/library guests Partake in workshops Design a young people’s space/hub in the library Plan social media campaigns Promote events and activities And anything else they can think of!
Give staff the reading agency website address for resources and password, and emphasise that these resources are aiming to support LINK: www.readingagency.org.uk/young-people/resources-for-librarians (click through to resources for Reading Activists groups) Username: Readingactivists Password: 1authorities8
More details can be found on The Reading Agency website (as before)
More details are below, and can also be found on The Reading Agency website (as before) Bronze – (Thank you card): Young person has engaged in one Reading Activist volunteering opportunity. Silver – (Certificate): Young person has engaged in three Reading Activist volunteering opportunities. Gold – (Certificate): Young person has engaged in six Reading Activist volunteering opportunities. Young people who attain a Gold certificate qualify for ‘Reading Activist of the Year’. Three young people will be awarded prizes, including a skills and CV mentoring session each.
Reading Activists Presentation
• A national programme for and by young people• Run by The Reading Agency in partnership with libraries• The new name for our youth-led engagement in all our libraries• Provides opportunities for 11 – 24 year olds to:• promote reading and writing,• shape services,• gain work experience and learn new skills.What is Reading Activists?
Meeting local authority objectivesReading Activists contributes to the government’s Positive for Youth agendaand Local Authority outcomes for young people, as outlined in the Council’s:• Integrated Youth Strategy• Volunteering strategies• Community engagement plans“The [Reading Activist] project...has developed young people’s confidence toinfluence service planning. The project is widely recognised by senior Councilofficers and politicians as an excellent example of youth engagement. It haschanged the way libraries work with young people and given them a voice.”Stephen Walters, Principal Library Manager, Gateshead Libraries.
Reading Activists Facts[Library service name] is one of the 18 authorities funded by the Big Lotteryto develop Reading ActivistsIn the first two years, overall:• 9,305 young people took part in 443 Reading Activist events• 2,275 young people volunteered as Reading Activists• 91 young people were working towards or have received an accreditation• 76 young people were offered work placements or jobs in libraries.
Reading Activists in [library service name]Our Reading Activists include:•Local information. Please include details of your groups, projects and outcomes
Case Study – “A Night in Wonderland” at Birtley LibraryBirtley Library was transformed into Wonderland for the night by the ‘Our Say– Birtley’ Reading Activist group.The night included games of ‘Pin the Grin on theCheshire Cat’ and ‘Flamingo Croquet’ played withinflatable flamingos and hedgehog croquet balls!Later the young people sat down to a Mad Hatter’sTea Party where they were able to decoratecupcakes and eat jam sandwiches.The evening finished with a screening of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”.24 young people attended the event, with one young person declaring thatthey had “never seen the library look so cool!”
Resources, tips and ideas are available exclusively for Big Lottery fundedauthorities on The Reading Agency website, including:• Recruitment tips• Work experience advice• Ideas for using incentives• Activities and challenges• Loyalty Scheme• Reading Activists certificate scheme•You can sign up your teen reading groups to Reading Groups for Everyoneto receive reading offers and resources.•Join our Reading Activists network newsletter mailing list by email@example.comSupport from The Reading Agency
Loyalty schemeThe loyalty scheme is designed to attract more young people tovolunteer as Reading Activists.Current Reading Activists who bring a friend to at least three steeringgroup meetings or activities to be entered into a prize draw. Prizesinclude:• Trip to Alton Towers for 4 people plus £150 towards travel• £100 itunes vouchers EACH• £100 High Street vouchers EACH• £50 cinema vouchers EACHThe prize draw will run twice from May – October 31stand 1stNovember 2013 – 31stMarch 2014. Find out more on The ReadingAgency website
The Reading Activists CertificateReading Activists Certificates can be awarded to young people aged11-19 who have engaged in Reading Activists volunteering activities attheir local libraries.The certificates will:• Encourage deeper involvement• Offer a clear progression route• Incentivise and rewardThere are three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Young people can beawarded the certificates retrospectively if they have been volunteeringfrom the beginning. Find out more on The Reading Agency website
“Reading Activists has DEFINITELY changed me!Before being involved I would never have dreamed Icould help organise author events or interviewpeople; I would have been really scared and worried.There’s so many skills I’ve learnt, and things it’sopened me up to do. I’m much better at reading now,and more confident all round.”Tom, age 15
For more information...[insert local coordinator details]www.readingagency.org.uk