Leicester’s annual Author Week goes ‘On Tour’ 

By Andre Sobol

Leicester’s Whatever it Takes (WiT) initiative relaunched its annual Author Week yesterday(MonFEB3), hoping to follow up on the success of previous iterations.

Running across ten days until Monday next week, more than 9,000 schoolchildren will have the opportunity to attend workshops with authors.

This year’s edition is themed as Author Week ‘On Tour’ and it is hoped the children will be inspired to read more.

Developing key literacy skills, such as learning the alphabet, is what WiT is trying to encourage.

The event is free, with WiT covering the costs of transport and activities offered. The event will provide authors, such as Philip Reeve, Steve Skidmore and Sarah McIntyre, with the opportunity to engage with and sign books for every child attending.

Whatever it Takes was launched in 2009 as a direct response to low literacy levels in Leicester. 

A citywide study found 25 per cent of children failed to meet their age-related standard for reading by the end of primary school, and cost secondary schools £1 million in additional support fees as a result. 

It is a 10-year joint effort between Schools Forum, Leicester Primary Partnership, Secondary Education Improvement Partnership, Leicester City Council, NUT and the SDSA. 

The aim is to create a reading culture, with increased focus on developing children’s language skills, adult expertise in teaching and matching reading levels to books that will challenge children appropriately.

To take part, all schools need to do is register and provide staffing. Classes of up to 30 are allowed to participate, from KS1 to KS3.

The campaign will be covered on its Twitter, with authors, parents, schools and teachers encouraged to spread the festivities. 

 More information can be found on WiT’s website.


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