What is a Patron of Reading?
A Patron of Reading is a school's special children's author, poet, storyteller or illustrator. The school and their patron develop a relationship over a period of time. Everything the patron does is related to helping encourage and develop a reading for pleasure culture in the school: blogs, book recommendations, discussions, plays, book quizzes, poetry bashes, parent sessions, book trailers and school visits. The possibilities are virtually endless. Created by headteacher Tim Redgrave, the idea has now spread to over 200 schools across the British Isles (as well as to schools as far away as New Zealand and the USA!).
Poet and non-fiction writer James Carter has recently written his top tips for patrons and visiting authors, as well as shared some of his experiences in schools, which can be found here.
For further information about how to find a patron for your school or about what being a patron entails, please visit:
FAQ for schools (by Helena Pielichaty)
Chitra Soundar at West Earlham Junior School
Can you give some specific examples of what a Patron of Reading might do?
Here are a few of the things the first Patron of Reading, Helena Pielichaty, did in her role as patron at Ysgol Esgob Morgan:
Please note: The activities listed above are only examples. Other schools will have different activities planned with their patron. Each partnership between author and school will differ on the basis that every author and every school differs. However, the emphasis should be on encouraging reading for pleasure. If the emphasis during the author visits changes to that of writing, for example, the movement does not differ from the already established Adopt an Author scheme.
Other examples of patron and school partnerships:Jonathan Emmet & Captain's Close Primary School
Huw Powell signing books after a 'Spacejackers' day at Writhlington School
What impact has this initiative had?
Tim Redgrave and staff reported it had:
MIchael Rosen, patron at Earlsmead Primary School