The Reader Organisation is part of The Big Give Christmas Challenge 2013. From today, 5th December to Saturday 7th September, if you donate to TRO through our profile on The Big Give website there’s the chance that the donation will be doubled by match funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation. Donate online by clicking the ‘Donate Online Now’ button as close as possible to 10am today, Friday and Saturday to increase the chance of your donation being doubled, helping us to reach more people through shared reading.
The money we hope to raise via The Big Give Christmas Challenge will be used to appoint a new Project Worker who will share reading with some of the most vulnerable people in society. On a weekly basis we reach groups who are in need of the comfort, companionship and much more that great literature provides, including people at risk of or experiencing social isolation, looked-after children in foster care and those living with dementia.
Our evaluation statistics show the difference shared reading is making to these groups:
- 86% of readers in dementia care home settings were reported to be less agitated and had improved mood following shared reading sessions
- 100% of the looked-after children we read with one-to-one told us they enjoyed reading books they wouldn’t have chosen themselves, and that they enjoyed discussing their ideas and opinions
Here is just one example of the people we read with on a daily basis – your donations could help us to bring more of these stories to life:
“Matthew has early on-set dementia and is much younger than most of the other patients on the ward. He rarely interacts with the other people and appears quite isolated and depressed, talking only in monosyllables and taking a long time to respond to questions. His speech seems slow and impaired: he struggles not only to find words to be able to express himself but also to find the will or desire to make such acts of communication in the first place.
I noticed during a session that centred upon an extract about summer-time from Laurie Lee’s Cider with Rosie that Matthew seemed to be looking about him more than usual and to be listening attentively to what was being discussed by the other group- members. I asked him what he’d like to eat during a hot day in summer. He replied in a single word – ‘Fruit’. I asked him what kind of fruit. He said ‘Apples, oranges.’ This response was quite a breakthrough for Matthew.
On that basis I risked asking him if he’d like to re-read a poem I’d just read to the group.At the end of his reading I thanked Matthew for reading and remarked that he had a wonderful reading voice. He smiled and said, ‘Thank you for saying so.’ The group moved on to talk a bit about the poem, but at the end of the session I came back to Matthew and asked him if he had enjoyed the session. Once again he took several moments to respond and then answer, reverting somewhat to his slower voice but this time managing to articulate himself in full. He said, ‘Yeah. It was elevating.’”
Another one of our readers said: “You have given me my youth back”
Any size donation you can give would be hugely appreciated to help us continue making these moments happen. As there are limited funds available as part of The Big Give Challenge, be sure to donate as near as possible to 10am for the chance of your donation being doubled by match funding. Click the ‘Donate Online Now’ button on our Big Give profile or click here go directly to the donation form.
This year The Reader Organisation is part of The Big Give Challenge. For a limited period between 5th-7th December (that’s Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week!), any individual donation we receive through our profile on The Big Give website will potentially be doubled by match funding from The Garfield Weston Foundation, who have supported our work over the past few years.
The Big Give Challenge provides the perfect chance to make a contribution to our work, and for this difference to be doubled! Any size donation will be hugely appreciated and will help us change more lives through shared reading. Through your donations, we’re looking to appoint a new Project Worker who will read with people who are most in need of the many powerful benefits shared reading can bring.
For every £1 donated, The Reader Organisation’s work will generate £6.47 in social value. (SROI study, 2013).
For donations to be doubled, they should be made via the ‘Donate Online Now’ button on our profile page as near to 10am as possible on 5th, 6th or 7th December. Only donations made on these dates will be eligible for match funding, and as there are only a restricted amount of funds available for each day, giving as near to 10am as possible increases our chance of receiving match funding.
‘It’s a gift for life.’ – Reading group member
Some FAQs about the Big Give Christmas Challenge can be found here: http://content.thebiggive.org.uk/christmas-challenge-supporters/. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any further queries.
We’re thrilled to announce that longstanding supporters of The Reader Organisation, Publiship, will be sponsoring The Penny Readings Festival this year.
Publiship are a successful logistics company who have been providing logistics provision to printers and publishers for over 25 years. With a network of office locations across the globe, including a UK base in Liverpool, they are relied upon to deliver high quality services in a world where the importance of logistics in the production process is often underestimated. You can read more about the accredited operation on their website, and keep up to date with goings-on on Twitter.
Here at The Reader Organisation we are very pleased to have their support once again as we prepare for and run our first Penny Readings Festival, where the excitement of the established Penny and Ha’penny Readings shows will spill over into a range of further festive entertainment and reading activities for all ages, as well as a range of stalls and a cafe. Read more about The Penny Readings and the accompanying festival here.
December has arrived and in the run-up to the festive season we’ll be giving each Monday’s Featured Poem a seasonal twist with some Christmas themed verse. Over the next four weeks you can expect an Advent calendar of sorts as we bring you some of the best and most classic poetry to enjoy as you make your Christmas preparations.
As yesterday was Advent Sunday, marking the beginning of the season of Advent, there seems no better way to start off with the following poem from Christina Rossetti. Having devout faith, Rossetti composed a great number of poems that celebrated the season including amongst others In The Bleak Midwinter, which we now know as a popular Christmas carol. This selection is one of several verses she wrote about the period of Advent. The themes of watching and waiting are revealed to have two meanings, as not only does it relate to the darkness of the long nights at this time of year, making things in the horizon difficult to be aware of, but also as Advent is viewed as a time to recognise the coming of Christ once more.
This Advent moon shines cold and clear,
These Advent nights are long;
Our lamps have burned year after year,
And still their flame is strong.
“Watchman, what of the night?” we cry,
Heart-sick with hope deferred:
“No speaking signs are in the sky,”
Is still the watchman’s word.
The Porter watches at the gate,
The servants watch within;
The watch is long betimes and late,
The prize is slow to win.
“Watchman, what of the night?” but still
His answer sounds the same:
“No daybreak tops the utmost hill,
Nor pale our lamps of flame.”
One to another hear them speak,
The patient virgins wise:
“Surely He is not far to seek,”—
“All night we watch and rise.”
“The days are evil looking back,
The coming days are dim;
Yet count we not His promise slack,
But watch and wait for Him.”
One with another, soul with soul,
They kindle fire from fire:
“Friends watch us who have touched the goal.”
“They urge us, come up higher.”
“With them shall rest our waysore feet,
With them is built our home,
With Christ.” “They sweet, but He most sweet,
Sweeter than honeycomb.”
There no more parting, no more pain,
The distant ones brought near,
The lost so long are found again,
Long lost but longer dear:
Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard,
Nor heart conceived that rest,
With them our good things long deferred,
With Jesus Christ our Best.
We weep because the night is long,
We laugh, for day shall rise,
We sing a slow contented song
And knock at Paradise.
Weeping we hold Him fast Who wept
For us,—we hold Him fast;
And will not let Him go except
He bless us first or last.
Weeping we hold Him fast to-night;
We will not let Him go
Till daybreak smite our wearied sight,
And summer smite the snow:
Then figs shall bud, and dove with dove
Shall coo the livelong day;
Then He shall say, “Arise, My love,
My fair one, come away.”
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the stresses and strains of the holiday season then our latest Short Course for Serious Readers is especially designed to provide you with some calm amongst the festive fray. ‘Stop The World I Want To Get Off!‘ is at Calderstones Mansion House this Friday 6th December, 10am-4pm and a final few places remain to allow you to read some great literature to escape from the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation.
There’s not long to go until the biggest day of The Reader Organisation’s festive celebrations and as previously announced, this year will be more of an extravaganza than ever before as for the first time we’ll be holding a special seasonal Penny Readings Festival to accompany the ticketed events.
We’re having problems with our emails at the moment, so you still might hear if you’ve struck lucky and won tickets to the Penny or Ha’penny Readings, but whatever the case, you can still join in the fun by coming along to The Penny Readings Festival, running from 1.30pm on Sunday 15th December. Entry to the Festival is completely FREE, with no tickets required, and there will be tons of fun reading-related and Christmassy activities to take part in right through the afternoon.
The Penny Readings Festival will feature lots of reading activities, including story time for children and shared reading taster sessions for adults, as well as games and activities, a cafe, and a chance to get creative. Come along to the magnificent St George’s Hall to find out more about The Reader Organisation and Calderstones Mansion House, finish off your Christmas shopping, and enjoy an afternoon of free festive entertainment. You can also bring along any spare books you have lying around the house to donate to our outreach work, as well as pick up some new ones.
The Penny Readings Festival is free and open to the public – start your Christmas the Reader way!
Primary school teachers and teaching assistants can join The Reader Organisation for this special after-school session at Liverpool Hope University exploring the very best children’s fiction, contemporary and classic, and how to make the best use of them in reading for pleasure with pupils.
Reading for pleasure is now a top Ofsted requirement for Outstanding schools, and being immersed in great books, stories and poems is the best way for a child to acquire understanding and develop other skills such as writing and speaking confidently. A recent report from the Institute of Education (IoE) also found that reading for pleasure puts children ahead in the classroom in learning vocabulary, spelling and maths skills (IoE, 2013).
At The Reader Organisation, our work with children and young people is focused entirely on reading for pleasure, with over nine years of experience sharing reading in a range of diverse and challenging settings. Our Hope Readers project at Liverpool Hope University is developing a culture of reading for pleasure amongst education students who will become teachers of the future, passing on their love of reading to their pupils. Find out more about the project and our work in Hope on the Hope Readers blog: http://hopereaders.co.uk/
- Find new great books, stories and authors
- Read for pleasure by exploring the books in relaxed, shared reading groups
- Get ideas and strategies about how to use books and texts in the classroom
- Get ideas on making reading for pleasure a reality in your school
Places on this special Children’s Fiction CPD event cost £50 per person (including a free copy of The Reader Organisation’s anthology for children and young people, A Little, Aloud for Children).
For further information and/or to register please contact Fiona Gustard, CPD Projects Administrator at Liverpool Hope University on email@example.com or call 0151 291 3061