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I just love the enthusiasm of James Patterson! He’s just so intent on inspiring kids to read!!

Apart from the ongoing generosity he shows by creating reading programs (James Patterson – Getting Australian Kids to Read; James Patterson’s Random Shorts: Story Competition) his contagious fervour to simply get kids reading is summed up well in this article: James Patterson’s Quest to Save Reading

Take away ideas:

  1. Get your kids to read every day – or else! He said this to his own 8 year old, who groaned at the thought. The alternative – living in the garage instead of his bedroom – was enough to convince his young man to ‘just do it’. The result? His SAT reading test scores soared
  2. Face facts: ‘At risk’ kids are not competent readers. By providing additional reading programs on a regular weekly basis – even if it’s on a weekend – will help and encourage them.  Achievement feeds achievement.  Reading is infectious!
  3. Turn kids onto reading! To ensure that kids continue reading for the rest of their lives, shift the focus from school curriculum focus of ‘you must read this text’ to encouraging kids to read what they like!
  4. Reading is evolving: Reading a novel is not the only form of reading. Social Media means kids are actually more deeply involved in reading and written communication than ever! The result of acknowledging this may well redefine what constitutes good reading.
  5. Reading should be fun! Book Clubs in schools can shift reading to be a ‘cool’ activity. The focus needs to be on the joy of reading rather than ‘You must read!’.

The article is well worth a read!

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It’s inspirational to read about authors who aim to encourage children to read.  It’s even more inspirational to hear about authors taking concrete steps to influence change.

I’ve previously blogged about James Patterson’s writing challenges which have been publicized through publishers Random House.

James Patterson

James Patterson

Now James Patterson announced just a few days ago that he will give book shops in Australian and New Zealand up to $5000 each for programs they initiate to get children reading.  With a total pool of $100,000 available, that is an awesome incentive!

Announcing this initiative Patterson said:

There is no doubt in my mind that bookshops play an essential role in the community in getting kids reading,’ says James, who has run similar initiatives in the UK and the US…….

‘I have been inspired, moved and delighted by the innovative proposals I have received from bookstores in the UK and the US. And I have been thrilled to see the real difference that these grants have already started to make. I can’t wait to see the proposals from Australian and New Zealand bookstores.’ …….

’I’m open to all sorts of ideas. From an after-school bookclub, to an emailed newsletter. From a spot bonus to a valued employee, to funds to create a storytelling tent. Send me your ideas and I will read them,’ says James. ‘For me, making the pledge is the easy part. The tricky task will be deciding which shops to help.’

I feel tempted to step into my local book shop and share with them just a few of the ideas we put in place in our schools on a regular basis.

Read more about this generous initiative reported by Look to the Stars: The World of Celebrity Giving.

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