Castle Manor Academy

One-Day Readathon at Castle Manor Academy gets the whole school buzzing and brings even struggling readers on board!

We have been running Readathon at Castle Manor Academy for the last 3 years, ever since I took on the role of Librarian, and each year we challenge ourselves to do better than the previous year.

I’ve found it most effective to build up a buzz around Readathon for a few weeks leading up to the event and then running the whole event in one day. The One Day Readathon Challenge helps to draw in a lot of our students who find it difficult to access reading and struggle to build self-esteem regarding books. They often feel very special and lucky to be able to miss lessons for the day allowing us to build a positive relationship with reading.  Students are chomping at the bit to read a book if it gets them out of certain subjects!

Once they have been hooked by the One Day Challenge I deliver assemblies to all students to highlight the fantastic work Readathon and its associated charities do. The ‘Henry’s Story’ video clip was a particularly powerful resource this year and many students felt moved to take part based solely on this.

Our Academy is split into four houses, so I deliver the assembly to each house and inspire a sense of competition amongst them; the house that raises the most money will win Readathon. This victory counts towards the end of year House Cup and the end of year House Charities cup. By focusing on the money rather than the number of books being read, students who feel less confident with reading still feel like they are taking part and able to make a difference. Another example of how flexible the Readathon programme is and how it can be tailored to suit any student.

Come the day of the event, I made sure there was an active presence on the Academy Library’s Twitter account for students to be able to instantly celebrate their achievements and for parents to have live updates on how the day was going.

This year for the first time I had arranged with the Academy’s Outdoor Learning Coordinator to utilise the tents used by the Duke of Edinburgh students. The Academy is well known in the area for its commitment to outdoor learning and eco-friendly projects so to be able to join up with this helped to create a real buzz. We filled the tents with beanbags and played tranquil music inside to create a cosy, calm and comforting atmosphere. Students were provided with squash and snacks throughout the day to keep them going and we were even joined by the local playgroup children for their storytime!

Readathon is a fantastic event that is a joy to organised each year. It never fails to make me proud when a student is beaming with pride over how many books they have read or how much money they have raised.  At the moment we still have money coming in but we are well on our way to hitting our £500 target.

Rebecca Neal,

Partnership Librarian

Twitter: @CastleManorPLC