Sheffield Hallam helps children to get reading this summer

26th August 2020

Sheffield Hallam is helping disadvantaged children boost their confidence and enjoyment of reading this summer by distributing books through foodbanks across the region.

The University’s Widening Participation and Outreach team is behind the initiative which follows on from a series of after-school book club sessions they were running before the coronavirus lockdown.

Led by Sheffield Hallam students, the book clubs helped to encourage children to think positively about reading and to develop skills which support attainment such as confidence, presentation and teamwork.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the team became aware of the challenges that schools were facing with engaging pupils due to a lack of access to technology and a break in their usual routines.

To try and combat this loss of learning, which may disproportionately affect children from the most disadvantaged areas in the Sheffield City Region, the team decided to adapt the book club packs and distribute them through eight local food banks.

So far, 120 books have been sent out, with 40 more still to be delivered.

The book that is being distributed, ‘The Mystery of the Egyptian Scroll’, is an exciting children’s adventure story, written by award-winning American author Scott Peters.

Accompanying each book is an activity pack including a word search, book review and fact sheet about Ancient Egypt, where the book is set.

Serena Noble, widening participation and outreach co-ordinator said:

“I am really pleased to have been able to adapt the Book Club project to support children who may have limited access to books, particularly as the local libraries are still closed.

“I am extremely grateful for the support of the foodbanks in distributing these packs, especially under the current difficult circumstances.

“I really hope that the children that receive the packs enjoy the books and completing the activity sheets, which can be photographed and sent to us, the children will then receive a certificate as reward for their hard work.”

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