QA Education magazine editor Victoria Galligan speaks to the team at Bookbuzz about how they engage young people with reading and promote a love for literature…
How and when did Bookbuzz begin?
Bookbuzz is a reading programme suitable for school children aged 11 – 13, regardless of their reading ability or learning needs. Developed by BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, we support schools to encourage reading for pleasure. The programme began in 2012. Five years on, over 150, 000 students from years seven and eight take part every year, receiving their own book to take home and keep.
Who funds the programme?
Thanks to the support of the Bookbuzz authors and children’s publishers, schools can buy Bookbuzz at the subsidised cost of £3 per student; receiving one book for every student, picked by them, 34 brilliant books for the school and a pack of practical resources including posters, bookmarks and tips to encourage reading for pleasure. Bookbuzz offers students the element of choice, allowing them to find the right book for them and get excited about books and reading.
Where does the programme operate?
Bookbuzz can be purchased by schools in England and Northern Ireland.
Can you give some examples of your success stories?
From running ‘book-tasting’ sessions, to getting heads of year to battle it out and make the case for their favourite book, we’re amazed by the dynamic ways schools approach choosing their books. And that’s so vital. Reading’s a really sociable thing – and this is a great way to get students talking about books.
“Once my students have all chosen a book, I tell them about Bookbuzz Breakfast! I invite Year 7 to attend a ‘breakfast’ in the LRC. During the breakfast, selected pupils will stand up and read a passage from their chosen book to whet their classmates’ appetites…When all the food is gone, I give out the books and students settle down to read their book until break time.”
“It’s a great way to make being part of Bookbuzz feel really special. After the breakfast students often come and borrow the books they did not choose.”
Clare Thompson, Learning Resource Manager
What plans do you have for 2019?
An expert panel including school librarians, teachers and children’s booksellers are currently selecting the 2019 titles and we are looking forward to announcing them in May. Every year we see teachers and librarians using Bookbuzz in ever more creative ways to build a buzz around reading for pleasure in their schools. We can’t wait to see the programme in action in September 2019.
To find out more about BookTrust’s Bookbuzz programme visit: booktrust.org.uk