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Rising Stars hosts free Reading Festival with National Literacy Trust and Hachette UK

Rising Stars, part of Hodder Education, is this week hosting a Festival of Reading in partnership with the National Literacy Trust, to mark the next phase in Hachette UK’s three-year partnership with the National Literacy Trust. More than 700 teachers have registered to attend the free four-day festival, which is taking place virtually and features top authors, leading literacy experts and experienced teachers as panellists.

The UK’s second largest publisher is now seven months into its partnership with the National Literacy Trust, with the two organisations co-creating programmes to help children, young people and adults in disadvantaged communities to develop life-changing literacy skills. The first year of the partnership is all about helping primary school children who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 to develop the reading skills they need to catch up. The programme is designed around Hodder Education Group’s Rising Stars Reading Planet scheme, which celebrates diversity and champions individuality through stories, characters and themes that reflect the world we live in today.

As part of the partnership, Hodder Education has donated over 22,000 Reading Planet books to 25 primary schools in disadvantaged areas across the North East, Manchester, Leicester, Doncaster, Stoke, Peterborough, Bletchley, Ramsgate and London, while Hachette Children’s Group has gifted 2,500 ‘reading for pleasure’ books.

Fiona Evans, Director of School Programmes at the National Literacy Trust, said: “The National Literacy Trust is delighted to be co-creating and delivering programmes with Hachette UK, focussing on those children at the start of their primary education who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. The teachers we work with are always seeking the very best guidance and resources to help develop their pupils’ reading skills and enjoyment of books, which is why we are delighted to be part of this week’s Festival of Reading with Rising Stars and Hodder Education.”

The festival comprises several panels and talks, including:
Rashford, Sterling and Kane – How sporting role models can inspire reading
The session will explore how sport – not just football – gives permission for young people to ‘become’ readers, as they discover that reading is relevant to their lives, comes in a rich variety and helps them to achieve their goals. The session is led by Jim Sells, Programme Manager at the National Literacy Trust, who has over 20 years’ experience of bringing sport and literacy together.
Reading for pleasure on and with screens

This session, led by Emily Best, Knowledge and Research Manager at the National Literacy Trust, will help build your knowledge and understanding and explore how evidence shows positive links between the use of apps and screens and reading for pleasure.
Comics in the Classroom

The National Literacy Trust’s Lucy Starbuck Braidley, Programme Manager for Reading for Enjoyment at the National Literacy Trust, is joined by Year 6 teacher and fellow comics enthusiast, Richard Ruddick, to take you through their graphic novel recommendations and practical ideas for using comics to support reading in your classroom. Ruddick writes about graphic novels and comics on his blog https://comicsinclass.school.blog/ and on Twitter @RuddickRichard.

Develop reading for pleasure: exploring different motivations for the everyday classroom
This session – led by Fiona Evans, Director of Schools, and Henrietta Roberts, Project Manager of the Reading Champions programme at the National Literacy Trust – will explore how to motivate young people to read more and increase their reading stamina. It will focus on the various motivations to read, presenting realistic aims and expectations for teachers working with everyday kids in an everyday school. You will also hear about the National Literacy Trust’s Reading Champions programme supports teachers to bring reading for pleasure into the classroom in a fun and achievable way.
There’ still time to register for the event at: https://forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=xaKB-IkKMUiBsceEbElZTR4F5ZULTcFPmHTIN8pGEa1UMUgyUTAzUjFRT0tIRlVDQVJMUldSSzg1Ti4u

All the presentations will be available to download for three weeks after the event.