Lewisham Reading ChampionsCelebrating reading and success in Lewisham
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamSuccess So Far 40 Reading Champions 6,000 children participating overlast 2 years...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOur Approach Consider what the Service needs Work with a local partner Use exist...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamTraining Sharing books with children The Summer Reading Challenge andlibraries C...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamStaff Support Clarification of roles Who, where, when Expectations
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamBenefits for Young People Experience of working with and promotingbooks and readin...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamBenefits for Young People The opportunity to involve local young people The oppor...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOutcomes – Young People‘It was worthwhile and I will alwaysremember what it was lik...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOutcomes – Readers‘Over the weeks I certainly saw herdevelop more confidence being ...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamCelebration Celebrate success and achievement Certificates, refreshments, photos...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamRole of the Library Service To enable To empower To develop To engage
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamNew Developments 6-week programme with practicalexperience Involving new partners...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamTakeaways Work in partnership, locally and nationally Have written policies and g...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamContact Me Any questions, contact me:Jo Moulton Joanne.moulton@lewisham.gov.uk 0...
Jo Moulton - London Borough of Lewisham
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Lewisham reading champions 2012

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Lewisham Libraries' Service Development Manager Jo Moulton gave us an insight into her experiences of the Summer Reading Challenge and the benefits that it has brought to children, volunteers and librarians.

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  • I’m pleased to be here today to share with you the story of our success in working with young people to support SRC. In the last 3 years we have recruited and trained 40 young people aged 16-24 to be our Reading Champions. Over the last 2 years we have seen over 6,000 children participate in SRC . This project has also enabled us to develop working partnerships with local and national groups
  • So how did we do it? We considered what it was we wanted the Reading Champions to do, what support each branch needed depending on how busy they are and what information and support staff needed. In 2011 Lewisham Library Service underwent radical transformation that included a staff restructure and developing 5 community libraries with 3 different partners. Due to these changes we only put Reading Champions into our 7 hub libraries last year and not the 5 community libraries. This is something that will be reviewed this year. So as a general point you need to consider where your service is in terms of re-structures, changes and developments, new working arrangements etc. To recruit the young people we worked with local agency Youth AID, who are a voluntary group who provide a advice and information to young people throughout Lewisham. They have a database of young people they can promote volunteering opportunities to and have a proven track record of great success in their programmes. We planned the training and our approach together. We put together a poster that Youth AID would use to recruit the young people with, using their database and networks. Youth AID were also able to organise the CRB checks of the young people for us. Also advertised this opportunity in libraries, with the Young Mayor, in local secondary schools. Together we developed a handbook for the YP that they could take away and had useful information in such as the role of the Reading Champion, where the libraries are and contact details for each, good conduct, behaviour and appropriate dress. I also wrote a Reading Champion policy outlining the scope of the young people, their roles and the role of the library service. This was more for library staff and the service.
  • We developed 4 training modules that we delivered to the Reading Champions, working with colleagues in Youth AID. The training focused on: Sharing books with children The SRC and libraries Child protection Inter-personal skills Sessions lasted about 2 hours each, were run early evening and were interactive. Each session covered approx 2 modules. For example in the session on reading and sharing books there were a variety of activities that the young people participated in. This included young people working in pairs and role playing, one being them and one being a child. The YP playing a child were given a range of scenarios, including being a reluctant speaker, talking too much or not liking the book they had read. We then talked as a group about strategies to deal with these situations and the groups practised the scenarios again. We took along a range of books for the young people to look at and get them talking about their own reading experiences. The group were given lists of book websites to look at, who else writes like and recommended reads. We provided each young person with a SRC bag and SRC t-shirt. The young people would also be given the opportunity to support staff with craft activities
  • We had to ensure staff were supportive of the Reading Champions and would welcome them into their libraries. I produced a briefing for staff clearly outlining the role of the Reading Champions, stating what they would and would not be expected to do. I also asked that librarians went through things likes emergency evacuation procedures, health and safety issues and library layout with their Reading Champions. Librarians were also required to monitor progress and development of each Reading Champion through talking informally, observing the Reading Champions, completing an evaluation sheet when Reading Champions completed a task and a short evaluative meeting at the end of the summer holidays. I ensured that everyone, staff and Reading Champions had the information they needed. So the Reading Champions had the contact names and numbers of the libraries where they would be working and branch staff had the names, contact numbers and days and hours of the young people who would be in their branch. However I found that if there was a problem, the young people and the staff would generally contact me, so I spent time re-arranging hours and days with the young people and chasing up the young people if they didn't turn up. It is interesting to now consider expectations, both what the Reading Champions expect and what the staff expect. Whilst the young people involved were enthusiastic and wanted to be involved, several of them had complex personal lives that often took over and prevented them from attending sessions. In such a situation we had to be supportive of the young people, ensure they understood that if they were unable to attend they let us know and remind staff that they were young people who were volunteering their free time, in some cases for the first time.
  • What are the benefits of being or using Reading Champions? The benefits to the YP are: Experience of working with books and reading materials and of promoting them. For some of the young people it was an opportunity to talk about their own reading experiences, how they viewed reading and what they wanted to pass onto children. Experience of working with the public, particularly children and families. Some of the young people wanted to work in youth services or in schools so this was good experience for them. Experience of working with library staff to promote and run the SRC and to run library based activities. This is an opportunity for young people to have a better understanding of what libraries do and to see the range of activities on offer Experience of being in a work environment, including using inter-personal skills such as communication. For some young people this was their first experience of a non-school environment and an opportunity to work with adults in a work environment
  • What are the benefits of being or using Reading Champions? Further benefits for young people which can also benefit the library service are: The opportunity to involve local young people. The more we can involve young people in our services the more they will want to use our libraries, tell their friends about it and want to work with us. The opportunity to strengthen the local and national partnerships with organisations such as Youth A.I.D. and TRA. The opportunity to provide local young people with new and exciting experiences and to learn and develop new skills. The opportunity for young people to be positive role models for younger children, particularly around books and reading. This was particularly important about young men being positive role models for primary aged boys, who we know can sometimes be reluctant readers.
  • There were many great comments from the young people I could have selected. Some of the young people were very clear that they wanted to support younger children in their reading and encourage children to want to achieve and do well, not just in school but generally in life. Some of the young people had had mixed experiences of reading themselves, sometimes coming to books and reading late in life but realising the importance of reading not only as a skill but as something to enjoy. It was this that were keen to pass onto other younger children.
  • It was great that so many of the Reading Champions developed good working relationships with library staff and felt like part of a team. A positive welcome and support from library staff is really important and can shape and influence the experience of the young person. Though ultimately the main people to benefit from this are the readers themselves. If staff and volunteers are happy and engaged in what they do, the service they offer the readers will be of a high quality.
  • In September 2010 to celebrate the success of the Reading Champions we held an early evening celebratory event in one of our libraries. We invited the Mayor of Lewisham and the Young Mayor to attend, present certificates and there were refreshments. One of the young people was unable to attend so he sent a message via a video link. One of the young people spoke about his experience and has since agreed with us and TRA to be used for any interviews about young people and volunteering. Other celebrations in other years have included a meal out at a local restaurant. I have also offered to write references for any of the young people, for job or college applications.
  • It is now interesting to consider how the project evolves and what the next phase for it could look like. The Library Service and partners have enabled young people to be involved, to grow and develop and to bring their skills to the Service. If more young people are empowered to be Reading Champions and they are reaching more children and readers, what role do library staff have? They still need to be running our buildings, but they will also be involved in developing further links with partners, engaging with and supporting wider audiences and enabling them to access resources. Reaching beyond the library walls with the support of Reading Champions will enable our services to grow, develop and have a greater impact upon communities.
  • In 2012 we are now additionally working with Community Education Lewisham (CEL) to develop a more formal training package that involves real experience in libraries as a Reading Champion. This is a 6-week programme that enable young people participating to have a greater understanding about language acquisition and working with children. The young people will then have the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice either in a library as a Reading Champion supporting the SRC or in a local primary school listening to children reading. This is also an opportunity for us to reach new audiences and recruit more young people as Reading Champions.
  • So what are the top tips for working with young people as Reading Champions for the SRC: Work in partnership, locally and nationally. Locally we worked with Youth AID and nationally we have worked with TRA, John Laing, V and Jack Petchy. Have written policies and guidelines so roles are clear. Paperwork can be shared and people understand what is being asked of them and what you are doing. Prepare the young people and staff. This can be through training, talking to and involving staff in what is happening. Consider what are the wider opportunities for the Service and what are the possibilities Have fun and enjoy! This should be an interesting and exciting activity for the YP and the SRC is all about having fun and enjoying reading. We want it to be a positive experience for everyone involved.
  • Lewisham reading champions 2012

    1. 1. Lewisham Reading ChampionsCelebrating reading and success in Lewisham
    2. 2. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamSuccess So Far 40 Reading Champions 6,000 children participating overlast 2 years Developed local and nationalpartnerships
    3. 3. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOur Approach Consider what the Service needs Work with a local partner Use existing networks Write it down
    4. 4. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamTraining Sharing books with children The Summer Reading Challenge andlibraries Child protection Inter-personal skills Support materials and incentives
    5. 5. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamStaff Support Clarification of roles Who, where, when Expectations
    6. 6. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamBenefits for Young People Experience of working with and promotingbooks and reading materials Experience of working with the public,particularly children and families Experience of working with library staff Experience of being in a workenvironment, including using inter-personal skills
    7. 7. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamBenefits for Young People The opportunity to involve local young people The opportunity to strengthen local and nationalpartnerships The opportunity to provide local young peoplewith new and exciting experiences and to learnand develop new skills The opportunity for young people to be positiverole models for younger children, particularlyaround books and reading
    8. 8. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOutcomes – Young People‘It was worthwhile and I will alwaysremember what it was like to workwith children of different abilities aswell as staff members.’ (Young person)‘It was lovely. I enjoyed every minuteof it. I felt like I had been doing it foryears.’ (Young person)
    9. 9. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamOutcomes – Readers‘Over the weeks I certainly saw herdevelop more confidence being in alibrary environment. She would useher initiative helping customers. I feltshe really became part of the team.’(Librarian)
    10. 10. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamCelebration Celebrate success and achievement Certificates, refreshments, photos Share experiences
    11. 11. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamRole of the Library Service To enable To empower To develop To engage
    12. 12. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamNew Developments 6-week programme with practicalexperience Involving new partners Reaching new audiences
    13. 13. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamTakeaways Work in partnership, locally and nationally Have written policies and guidelines soroles are clear Prepare the young people and staff Consider the opportunities for the Service Have fun and enjoy!
    14. 14. Jo Moulton - London Borough of LewishamContact Me Any questions, contact me:Jo Moulton Joanne.moulton@lewisham.gov.uk 020 8314 7176
    15. 15. Jo Moulton - London Borough of Lewisham

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