Pat on back for ‘Reading Stars’

CRILS Professor Phil Davis (c) with Dr Josie Billington (l) and Dr Caroline Rowland

The University’s Centre for Research into Reading, Information and Linguistic Systems (CRILS) recognised young people’s efforts at an event attended by academics from across the UK.

Working in partnership with The Reader Organisation (TRO), the Reading with Children and Families day sought to explore the possibilities for cross-regional and cross-institutional collaborative research into the effects of shared reading on the educational, social and personal welfare of looked after children and their families.

The event started with a Get Into Reading workshop, introducing and exploring TRO’s flagship Shared Reading with Children programme, before CRIL’s Dr Josie Billington and Dr Caroline Rowland introduced the research context of proceedings.

The aim is to establish research partnerships between academics and professionals across a variety of disciplines, to plan specific projects, and attract research funding, around shared reading with families and children from marginalised communities across the UK.

CRILS and TRO also hope to establish multi-disciplinary ‘think-tanks’ that will be able to anticipate and respond to future research council opportunities.

But the day really belonged to the young children presented with prizes for their efforts to improve and enjoy their reading, and CRILS director, Professor Phil Davis presented the awards to the clearly delighted youngsters.

Professor Davis said: “We wanted to look at the practical outreach work that TRO do with looked after children, and also think about the research opportunities, alongside academics from a variety of institutions and involved parties from the wider community .

“We wanted to show the researchers the children themselves, and wanted the children themselves to receive, at the University, a sense of reward and a prize for being what we are calling ‘Reading Stars’.

“These children have not had many prizes in their life and they’ve been selected because they put great personal effort into the reading they’ve done with TRO.”

Academic researchers from the Universities of Sheffield, Manchester and Birmingham, as well as Liverpool, attended the event.

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