Don’t Let Children Miss Joy of Reading Librarian Urges on World Book Day
Encouraging children to enjoy reading books is vital because of the modern age we live in.
That is the opinion of Mirelle Hyde, librarian at The Elms Junior School and Nursery in Long Eaton, as the school marked World Book Day with a variety of special activities today (Thursday 7 March).
The Elms pupils went 'Dahl Crazy' to celebrate the day, with Willy Wonkas, Oompa Loompas, Fantastic Mr Foxes, Matildas and Enormous Crocodiles all arriving at school in the morning in place of the children! The pupils set about designing sweets for Willy Wonka and making dream catchers for the BFG before a fun treasure hunt and chocolate-themed party.
Mrs Hyde believes that technology definitely does have a place in enhancing reading experiences for young people. But she insists literary events like World Book Day are critical in reminding youngsters there are equal amounts of joy and gratification to be found in stories and the pages of a book as from computer games, social media and smart phones.
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She said: "When I'm asked why it is so important in the modern age for a child to enjoy a book my response is that it is vitally important because of the modern age that we live in. Children now have access to a vast array of technology, which are all about instant gratification and are very highly-stimulating. People tend to forget the benefits that a child receives from becoming invested in a good book.
"Children develop empathy from reading about characters' thoughts and emotions that might be far from their own. Their concentration level improves and it helps them to express themselves both verbally and in writing. Perhaps most importantly for a child whose imagination is fired, and who becomes lost in the world of a book, they can forget any day to day problems that they might have. Reading is a great stress reliever even for children."
At The Elms, there is story time and reading for all children from the youngest nursery children up to the top Year 6 pupils. But Mrs Hyde says that parents can play an equal role in children grasping the enjoyment of reading if a child is to form a lifelong bond with books.
She encourages parents to set aside a quiet time of the day to read and make some precious memories with their child by putting on funny voices, encouraging the child to speculate on what is going to happen in the story and what the characters' feelings are. Mrs Hyde also feels parent's own reading behaviours can be just as influential in a child's reading habits.
She adds: "It helps children to see their parents reading. Have magazines, books and newspapers around your house and discuss what you are reading. This is particularly important for boys because seeing a male role model enjoying reading has a huge influence on what choices they make about their own reading."
For more information about The Elms Junior School and Nursery visit www.elmsschool.net